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What does "flattening the curve" really mean?

Wausau-Rhinelander WSAW-TV logo Wausau-Rhinelander WSAW-TV 3/25/2020
CDC graphic on flattening the curve (CDC Photo) © Provided by Wausau-Rhinelander WSAW-TV CDC graphic on flattening the curve (CDC Photo)

(WSAW)-- Flattening the curve is a phrase you've been hearing a lot for about a week now.

But what exactly does it mean? It's pretty simple, really.

If we do nothing, more people will get Covid-19 sooner, making the curve a steep mountain on a graph.

That's when health care facilities will get overwhelmed with overworked staff and not enough equipment and supplies.

If we follow recommendations like social distancing, the curve becomes flatter on that graph, closer to a molehill.

It may not mean fewer people get sick in the long run. But there will be fewer people getting sick at one time. So, there won't be such a strain put on equipment, supplies and staff members

So, how do we flatten the curve?

By all the measures that have been taken so far... Isolate people who are sick... Try to find out who those sick people may have had contact with... Quarantine people who may have been exposed to the virus... Close schools and businesses... Avoid crowds and live with social distance.

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