Communities are being urged to practice social distancing, some schools are closing, sports and cultural events are being canceled, and companies are asking employees to work from home — even if they’re not experiencing coronavirus symptoms. Many are wondering why they are essentially self-quarantined despite the fact that they’re not sick. The answer has to do with “flattening the curve” — an answer that could leave some people confused.
You’ve likely seen “flattening the curve” graphs being used in articles and shared on social media as a way to explain the importance of responding aggressively to curb the spread of the coronavirus. But what does it mean to flatten the curve, and how do we do it?
Friday on “CBS This Morning,” CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook explained what has become a buzzword in the wake of the outbreak.
“Is it really worth while to do all of this social distancing and hand washing? The answer is yes,” Dr. LaPook said. “Normally, right now — without any measures — the epidemic might go up [sharply] and go down. That peak number of cases could overload the system and that’s what people are worried about.”