Americans Act To Flatten the Coronavirus Epidemic Curve

"Individual behavior will be crucial to control the spread of COVID-19."


The COVID-19 epidemic can no longer be contained. The good news is that Americans, acting as free and responsible individuals, are already making changes in their personal lives that will likely mitigate the effects of the disease.

Since the epidemic is inevitable, the best strategy for coping with it is to flatten the curve—that is, to adopt measures that slow down the rate of infection. The number of people eventually infected will not necessarily be lower, but the goal is spread out the infections over time in order to avoid overtaxing the health care system with a flood of cases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlined the concept of flattening the curve in a 2007 report on pre-pandemic planning.

Flattening the epidemic curve

Chief among these tactics is social distancing—that is, avoiding crowds, staying home, and keeping six feet between yourself and other people when you do go out in public. All across the country, schools, theaters, sporting events, and other venues where large numbers of people congregate are shutting down for the next month or so.

A March 9 commentary in The Lancet analyzes how mitigation measures will influence the course of the COVID-19 epidemic. The authors point out the advantage of flattening the curve, but they also warn that there could be a resurgence of the epidemic if the changes are relaxed too soon.

Watch out for resurgence

"Individual behaviour will be crucial to control the spread of COVID-19," they note. "Personal, rather than government action, in western democracies might be the most important issue. Early self-isolation, seeking medical advice remotely unless symptoms are severe, and social distancing are key."

So wash your hands frequently, bump elbows instead of shaking hands, and binge-watch Netflix at home. Stay well, everyone.

NEXT: The Plot Against America Is Not About Trump, Even If Comparisons Are Inevitable

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  1. …and Trump will be reelected.

    HAHA. I was laughing that the Propagandists in the media so hoping this Coronavirus would lead to some economic collapse. HAHAHA. and maybe…just maybe that Joe Biden’s VP could defeat Trump.

    Bitcoin went way, down so I’m buying some of that along with more stocks. BUY BUY buy.

    1. There it is!

      More puts on.

      1. poor unreason. so sad.

        1. Sadly making a killing on all this volatility.

          1. I am. Oh you meant you. No, you didn’t lol. You don’t even have disposable lolol.

          2. nobody sadly makes a killing.

            1. That’s the joke. LC1789 keeps lighting up the buy signal just previous to giant losses. I told this sub I went short at the end of January, which they, of course, mocked.

              1. “…I told this sub I went short at the end of January, which they, of course, mocked.”

                Of COURSE you did!

              2. You didn’t do shit. You’re also not a SF vet like you claimed. Also, you were. Outing off looking for trouble recently. If you really have moved from a Toronto to Seattle, I’m just a little way from you in Spokane. So come on over you little bitch.

              3. Poor unreason sock trolls dont know how stock buying and selling works. he doesnt know that when you buy stocks in blocks, you can keep them until you wish to sell them for a profit. Even if they happen to drop from your buying price.

                He sold short in January and incurred massive losses before he supposedly made a killing over the last 2 weeks. HAHA.

              4. Its very interesting to see how people react in this kind of situations

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      2. “I’ve taken a little small nibble in some positions, but I haven’t rushed into anything,” Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Friday morning. “And if it goes much lower, I’ll nibble some more.”

        But what does mark Cuban know.

        1. “nibble”

          What do you think that means?

          And if I’m looking for a sage, Mark Cuban isn’t it. I know you guys love reality tv stars, but not my thing.

          1. “reality tv stars”

            Which of course is how he made his money lolololol

            Now lie about how muchoney you made even though you’re poor lololol

          2. You are pretty pathetic. You know Cuban is a big time investor right? And nibble means buy.

            You havent made a killing off shit Jeff. Everybody knows you’re a ramen eating nobody.

            1. Jesse mad.

              Hit the gym, go to therapy, take some showers. Someone will love you one day.

              1. Jesse’s right, you know.

            2. Buy around the beginning of April, if not earlier. China is back at work. The factories are churning, dissent is stifled, and diseased workers are being removed from the economy.

              I don’t know where the US will be—probably bored, is my guess—but the supply problems on China’s side will be shrinking. And their demand for energy will rise. I expect things to rise quite soon. Maybe not to DJIA 30,000, but better than this.

  2. Not sure to what degree the mitigation steps are going to be successful against Covid-19, but in the aggregate they should put a statistically significant butt-whoopin’ on the numbers of folks that are afflicted with, and die from, the “normal” flu.

    1. I took 4 flights in the last week. People in gloves and mask, and lines for the restroom sinks were common.

      Really makes you realize how many people were skipping the hand washing in the bathroom before. Gross.

      1. Yeah, you’re lying about that too lololo

        1. He saved up 4 quarters and went down to the mall for his rides, the ones near the food court.

          1. Lol. The horsey or the rocket? Or the car?

            1. With 4 quarters he can try them all, then go back for one more ride on his favorite

            2. None. He put them all in the merry-go-round because his favorite thing is going in circles.

      2. If it makes you feel any better its not entirely that people were skipping hand washing (although some certainly were) its also that people are now making special trips to bathroom just to wash their hands, and spending significantly more time washing when they do

        1. Prob true. The people who’ve never washed their hands – probably still aren’t.

      3. I just took a flight to/from San Francisco and nobody was obviously sick.

        10 days without being sick at all.

        Lefties are pinning their last great White hope to this hysteria.

        1. This Wuhan Virus doesn’t appear to be that bad.

          1. And a possible silver lining; Hihn could get it and die. Win win for everyone.

        2. My advice to you is to go visit Italy and see all the sights. Then try to come back in a few weeks when it all blows over.

  3. I’m pretty sure i will be getting the Tecate virus tonight, wish me luck!

    1. Coors Light virus for me.

  4. Corona virus is the new food truck.

  5. I had a little Russel’s Reserve and a beer after work. I think I found the cure.

  6. “Individual behavior will be crucial to control the spread of COVID-19.”

    Finally, something I think we can strongly agree on.

  7. Think of all the lives we will save if do this every flu season.

    1. Think of the expenses.

      1. Shutting down society, yeah. But extra care with what you touch and keeping your hands clean is relatively cheap.

      2. “JesseAz
        March.12.2020 at 9:01 pm

        The death of people largely out of the productive work force wont have that much of an impact.”

        You said that. Just want to check in case you wish to amend or further explain that comment

        1. You mean, so you can quote it out of context later in a sophomoric attempt to make a point about Jesse’s moral character?

          1. Did I ask you a question?

    2. suicides up because nothing on tv but Hallmark and Crime

    1. Am i the only one who debated clicking this but then i realized who posted it and there’s almost 0 chance it isn’t some biased hatchet job?

      1. Blind links from known bullshitters do not get clicks.

      2. Certainly your choice.

        I have posted links to articles from JAMA, NEJM, CDC, Johns Hopkins, RSNA and AJR other known medical science sites as the information comes in.

        I ask for information and data from anyone here who can contribute. I have no bias here nor does the virus.

        You choose not to read. You cannot comment in any meaningful way about what Dr Sharfstein published. That is your choice.

  8. warn that there could be a resurgence of the epidemic if the changes are relaxed too soon.

    Of course there will be. That’s why the second wave ends up bigger than the first (since it starts from everywhere rather than just one location)

    But we are human. Not robots with one goal – lower epidemic. We will make changes. Which will slow things down enough to either declare an all-clear or think there’s an all-clear or just get antsy for the social contact we also need as humans.

    In theory, it would keep growing that way until the different waves add up to the herd immunity needed to naturally constrain the virus growth. And then in this case it becomes just endemic or seasonal

  9. Once all this settles, the world community (particularly North America) will have to re-assess its relationship with China.

    I’ve just about had it with them.

    Time to get off that shit hole’s wagon.

    Trump was right all along.

    1. Rogan interviewed a guy that explained why so many of these epidemics and novel diseases always originate in China.

      1. Michael Osterholm. Turns out wet markets, where you cram together all sorts of wild disparate species – think bats and pangolins – aren’t such a good idea. Who would have guessed?

        One slightly unrelated thing Osterholm warns about is our absurd dependence on China for drugs/chemicals that are essential for life-sustaining prescriptions in the US. They can hold us hostage any time.

        1. Yeah, he talked about how in the wet markets you’ll see a cage of ferrets above a cage of chickens and… while I don’t understand why, apparently from a disease standpoint, that’s a nasty combination to have in close proximity.

          1. Wet markets … are free markets.

            Stop being such statist assholes. If there is a market for fresh pig scrotums and bat dicks, who the fuck are you righteous dirtbags to tell people not purchase and consumer these … culturally significant delicacies?

            Dependence on China is just an example of free markets. Dependence, my slave statist friends, is freedom.

    2. At least consider the strategic implications of having so many single points of failure in supply chains be in one country

  10. It would be multiple orders of magnitude cheaper to just ramp up temporary respiratory care centers! Have the capacity for tens of thousands of beds, oxygen, ventilators and protective gear for staff … and voila, no need to bring an entire economy to a halt just to flatten a curve. Especially when grinding activity to a halt will have no impact on the total number of people infected over time – which is what they are telling us.

  11. //The COVID-19 epidemic can no longer be contained.//

    No, no, no. No. Just keep testing. Testing, testing, testing.

    The key is testing.

    1. Hey, cut Ron some slack. Sure he is finally saying what others were saying a week or two ago, but at least it is progress.

      1. LOL. Fuck that.

        Bailey is supposed to be Reason’s go to “science” guy but makes Bill Nye, an actor-comedian, look like Stephen Hawking by comparison. He spent an entire day arguing with the commentariat in defense of an absolute position only to abandon it the next in favor of the exact opposite conclusion.

        That shit should deservedly haunt him forever.

        1. I’m just glad that you were there to (try to) set him straight. Earlier availability of testing would NOT have helped prevent the spread of COVID-19, and there are plenty of medical professionals who can attest to that.

        2. And not one science based information from you GG

  12. And in the Progressive “it takes a village” New York State, woke facebook hordes (mostly women) depended on local grocery store chains today…went into my Wegmans for bagels and OJ tonight and it was so quiet. Fresh produce was there (except for bagged cut carrots) but no bread, no cold cuts, and it got shredded bag cheese (quesadillas?), then it got better. The entire pasta (and this is an area of a lot of Italians) was empty…all the sauce gone…canned goods..none..soup (even the kind that sits for months) gone, tuna gone…frozen veggies gone, and forget the paper products. As I cashed out I was told one women bought 60 cans of peas…what the hell. Nice to see my fellow “people come first” New Yorkers under Andy Cuomo caring about their neighbors so much.

    On the plus side in about a month food pantries will be overstocked with non perishables..

    Americans have become idiots.

    1. As I said, in the event of Civil War 2.0 Lefties would give up or die of starvation within a month in the cities.

      As we see from this hysteria, one of the main purchases of these hysterics are toilet paper and pasta that depends on boiled water.

      America is just a nation of retards who thought living in the cities is the greatest decision of their lives. Ooops.

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  14. It’s not clear to me that social distancing for everyone is the correct response. Because the lethality of Covid-19 is substantially biased by age (the average age of fatality in Italy is *81*), of course older people should practice social distancing. But there’s a good argument to be made for *intentionally spreading the virus* amongst younger people, especially those not likely to be in contact with seniors.

    Fatalities under 30 are vanishingly rare – which means younger people aren’t really in danger from Covid-19. The only real danger is that they’ll spread it to vulnerable populations. But if they engage in social distancing, it’ll delay spread among their age group, *and that’s a bad thing*, because delaying spread means delaying *immunity*. Longterm, rapidly building up population herd immunity for those least likely to be hurt by the virus would be a tremendous benefit. It would reduce the duration of quarantining and social distancing, and it would decrease the risk to older people once most of the younger population was immune.

    So yes, hospitals need to take special precautions and retirement homes need to worry. But closing schools (K-12 and college) is wrong-headed and counterproductive. Especially colleges, where students are mostly around people their own age, and rarely around seniors. Delaying their catching the virus and thus developing immunity will make them bigger risks to the elderly population in the long run. And sending them home puts them in closer contact with older people than they would have at school. (Older professors should of course take precautions).

    Given it’s infectiousness, the longterm solution to covid-19 is herd immunity. A strategy that differentiates response based on age will probably result in fewer fatalities overall than one where everyone tries to reduce spread.

    1. Fatalities under 30 are vanishingly rare – which means younger people aren’t really in danger from Covid-19.

      The early info on that is that Covid-19 is about as deadly among that younger group as a bad flu season is overall. And while it does look like serious cases are also lower than the overall of 12% – even a 3% rate would completely fill hospitals to capacity and the young will almost certainly spend more time there as they slowly recover instead of quickly dying like the older. Also – there is zero info about long-lasting problems. What damage is done (even in ‘mild’ cases for now) and what will happen in a year or two. What hospitals in places like China and Korea are calling ‘recovered’ right now is simply – discharged for now. There has been no follow-up anywhere – and won’t be for awhile.

      You are totally right about the herd immunity. And yeah, it is very silly for under-30’s to panic. For them, this is far more an opportunity than a crisis. But the last thing they should be doing is selling that lower individual risk profile ‘for the greater good of the herd’. Because there’s simply no way they will really be paid fairly for that value. Not from a generation that’s screwed them from here to Sunday.

    2. this virus does not make children ill.
      this virus does not kill healthy adults.
      this virus only kills the elderly.

  15. this virus does not make children ill.
    this virus does not kill healthy adults.
    this virus only kills the elderly.

    1. Or people with diabetes, or lupus, or Cancer, or M.S., or Crohns, or if you are pregnant, or if you smoke, or if you are young and healthy and really unlucky. Some young people die of the flu every year.

  16. Looks like ‘the field’ (rest of the World) has now passed China in the total number of confirmed cases. By the end of this first wave, it will become really obvious how successful Asia was in stomping that first wave because they took it seriously – and how little the rest of the world learned even with a 6+ week lag in cases showing up there.

  17. The daily press briefings conducted by VP Pence are very helpful; I like his style at the lecturn. I like the format where everyone talks about their department’s role in addressing SARS-nCov-2. It is a good overview. Based on what I heard, testing capacity is ramping up quite substantially in the coming week. That is good. The national emergency declaration is a positive step forward. It removes a lot of bureaucratic hurdles. The Fed cut rates to zero. Liquidity should not be an issue. Congress is moving quickly and working together; a welcome relief.

    I also appreciate the realism. Doctor Fauci doesn’t pull any punches. He came out and said the worst is ahead; I believe him. Doctor Brix is also pretty straight up.

  18. How can anyone with a brain keep putting up that fucking graph without numbers on the Y axis? It means nothing without scale.

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  20. Play sports again! Dammit! and don’t listen to the cuck who wrote this pansy article.

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