You Can Help “Flatten the Curve” of COVID-19
Posted By Paul Kafasis on March 13th, 2020
The novel coronavirus COVID-19 has led to sporting events and performances of all types being canceled, schools closing, and outright bans on large gatherings. If you’re fortunate, it may currently seem like a lot of fuss over nothing.
Unfortunately, that is not the reality of the situation. Over one hundred thousand people have been infected with COVID-19 already, with several thousand fatalities. The nature of a pandemic means that things are going to get much worse, before they get better. In short order, millions of people will be infected, and many of those will die. The sooner we accept this reality, the better.
Flattening the Curve
Despite this grim forecast, we are not powerless to help. This simple chart illustrates why:
This graphic shows an idea referred to as “flattening the curve”. When the curve of a pandemic is flattened, its peak is both lowered and delayed. This better allows us to handle the outbreak, by reducing the strain on our systems. The more successful we are at flattening the curve, the more society will benefit.
When we take protective measures, fewer people will get sick and the sickness will be spread over a longer time period. Our healthcare systems will then have more capacity to treat those who do fall ill.
If your inbox is anything like mine, you’ve been inundated with information related to COVID-19. The basic advice shared in countless places is certainly valid. Wash your hands, avoid touching your face, and so on. Above and beyond improving our basic hygiene, however, there is a broader concept each and every one of us can follow to lessen the severity of this global crisis: social distancing.
Key Takeaway: Practice Social Distancing
At its most basic, social distancing is a deliberate effort to reduce your contact with others. Doing so will slow or prevent community transmission of COVID-19, by decreasing the number of opportunities the virus has to spread.
You can practice social distancing in many ways. For those in the tech sector, working from home is a hugely powerful step you may be able to take. Rogue Amoeba’s employees use home offices around the globe, but if that weren’t the case, we’d be mandating working from home now.
It’s not possible for everyone to work from home, but there are still plenty of other changes you can implement. Avoid attending group gatherings. Reduce the amount you leave the house. If you do go out, maintain physical distance from others as best you can.
Every time you take these steps, you’ll reduce the chances that you yourself will get sick, as well as the chances that you’ll infect someone else. Every single action we take has the possibility of affecting the overall infection rate. Allowing our actions to be guided by social distancing will help flatten the curve, and flattening the curve will save lives.
A Small Extra Incentive
We hope that you’ll put social distancing into practice immediately to help slow transmission of COVID-19. We also know that software can actually assist you in doing so. From messaging and communication services to entertainment like online games and streaming content, digital tools will help contain the spread.
Some of our own tools can assist professionals working remotely or be used to distract from the boredom of being homebound. For anyone who might find our software useful at this time, we’re now providing it at a discount. For the next three months (through June 15th), everyone can use the discount code SOCIALDISTANCING in our store to receive 15% off at checkout.
This blog is generally a platform to discuss topics related to our software. However, in extraordinary times, it makes sense to use it to help educate. If this post can change the behavior of even a small percentage of our readers, it will have helped save many lives. We urge you to practice social distancing yourself, and to pass along this concept to others.
Beyond that, we hope for the very best for all of you. We’re going to get through this together. For now, the best way to do that is by being apart as much as possible.
The World Health Organization’s COVID-19 page
Julie McMurry’s comprehensive and in-depth FlattenTheCurve.com
The Atlantic’s Q&A on Social Distancing
The New York Times’s charts, showing possible outcomes