What Does Flatten The Curve Mean?
The expression flatten the curve is used to slow down the transmission of the coronavirus by reducing the number of people who are exposed and contract the illness. Flattening the curve protects us all because it can help prevent over-exhaustion of the healthcare system, allowing us to serve more patients.
When the infection curve is steep, it means that the virus is rapidly spreading, causing coronavirus case counts to increase exponentially in a short amount of time. When the curve begins to flatten, it means that while the virus could still be transmitted to a large number of people, it’s over a prolonged amount of time. This slower pace of infection yields a much less stressed healthcare system.
We can all work together to flatten the curve by doing our part in part in the community, practicing social distancing, and maintaining good hygiene. This too shall pass.
How to Socially Distance Yourself
Social distancing is more critical than ever. It is highly recommended that you avoid close contact with people outside your home as much as possible to decrease your chances of exposure to the coronavirus,. Doing so will only help to protect you and your loved ones.
- Personal Bubble – Avoid public gathering spaces, large crowds and nonessential social events. If you must be in an area around many other people, try to create a personal bubble around yourself to decrease the chance of exposure to any infection present in that vicinity. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests you keep a distance of six feet away from others, as they believe droplets cannot travel any further than that.
- Hands to Yourself – Avoid touching other people and things when possible. We know that the virus can spread by droplets from the mouth or nose of infected people, so it’s essential to be mindful of this when sneezing or coughing because those droplets can end up on nearby surfaces or people’s hands. If you are in a public area and must touch a commonly used surface, try to use a tissue or napkin as a barrier in between the surface and your skin.
- Protect Others – If you are experiencing any flu-like symptoms, stay home away from others until you are in the clear. In the case you happen to be around other people, always cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow, even if you think it may only be your allergies flaring up. Properly dispose of any used tissues in the trash can immediately. Lastly, routinely disinfect high-touch surfaces, whether in your home, car or work area daily.
- Protect Yourself - Most importantly, wash your hands and rewash your hands. Washing your hands often with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds will continuously help to get rid of germs your hands may have picked up. Remember to keep practicing good hygiene by washing your hands regularly, and when water is not easily accessible, use a hand sanitizer containing 60% alcohol or more.