Flattening the curve

Flattening the curve

When we were told social distancing, toque de queda, ... were being put in place to fight coronavirus it was explained that this was to "flatten the curve". I don't think a lot of us thought about that. That is, what flattening the curve really meant.

Those who did think about it may have concluded that it meant the overall number of people who got coronavirus would significantly decrease. Even if we really understood we tended to pretend that was what it meant. Well, now that I found this handy graphic I have been inspired to write this.

We (this applies equally to all governments -- not just Guatemala) were not prepared for everyone to get coronavirus. We needed to put it on hold while we got ready. In the case of Guatemala, five temporary hospitals have been constructed just for coronavirus patients. For us in Guatemala, the good news is that the government has kept up with the demand for hospital beds. Things are pretty-much under control.

But, it is now time to really think about what "flattening the curve" means. It means that the goal is to lower the rate that people get coronavirus. Here that seems to have worked. But, ultimately, people will get the virus. Think about it. Unless the number of active cases goes to zero and the borders remain closed , new cases will appear. People will continue to get infected.

Now, we are better prepared to deal with it and we even know there are ways to deal with it -- specifically hydroxychloroquine and high dosage vitamin C. It doesn't mean everyone will get it but just like the flu or even the common cold, lots of people will get infected.

Is a vaccination the "solution"? Unlikely. Vaccines have not made the flu a thing of the past and some recent vaccines (polio and mumps) have actually exacerbated the infection rates. We are told the flu vaccine is not reliable because the flu virus "evolves" and, thus, we need a new vaccine. Well, so does coronavirus.

The good news is that we have the thing called an immune system. If we take care of it, it will protect us from lots of things and that should include coronavirus. At this point we can surely say the following things will help:

  • Eat healthy food
  • Get out in the sun (or, if you live in Seattle, take vitamin D)
  • Get exercise