Flattening The Curve of Coronavirus Infections

by birtanpublished on August 16, 2020

When it comes to coronavirus we've been sticking to our message of don't panic but there's one aspect of this virus where I can tell you that fear is very reasonable and that's the capacity of our healthcare system to deal with it the overall number of infections is much

Less of a worry than how many of these infections occur at once this is healthcare triage news if you've been keeping up with our videos and the corona virus you'll know that we don't condone panic and if you can't help but

Panic we've suggested channeling it into productive behaviors like hand washing hand washing and hand washing that make a difference however there's one thing for which we suggest at least deep

Concern and that's the ability of our health care system to sustain a large and sudden impact you can see my concern over this in my most recent piece of the New York Times an epidemic curve is a chart used to display the occurrence and

Speed of new disease cases it shows the number of cases over time so during an outbreak you see peaks in the curve a particularly steep curve is created by a large number of cases in a short period of time this is happening in Italy right

Now and it's utterly overwhelming their health care system elective surgeries are being cancelled to make way for coronavirus in some locations those cases are taking up more than 80% of hospital beds doctors from all

Specialties are being redirected to help deal with the influx of patients there are more sick people than there are resources to treat them which means doctors are being forced into making tough calls and where those resources

Are allocated without careful steps and soon the United States may find itself in the same overwhelmed shoes not because this virus is extra deadly but because we won't have managed it in a way that flat is the epidemic curve in a

Way that slows down the spread so it doesn't hit everyone at once in the United States there an average of 2.8 beds per 1000 people there are around 160,000 ventilators in the country with this setup we can handle viruses like

The flu over eight month periods we cannot handle them over a period of weeks stat published an excellent piece in the numbers this week we'll link to that in the description if you're interested in a complete

Breakdown if we want to avoid that steep curve in the effect that will have on our health care system and trust me we want to avoid it we need to listen to the hygiene and social distancing advice dispensed by public health officials

We've been over the hygiene advice several times and I'll go over it again because it's really important wash your hands a lot with soap and water for at least 20 seconds stop touching your face stay away from sick people if you're the

Sick people stay home if you can social distancing measures restrict social gathering to slow the spread of infectious disease these measures include closing schools working from home canceling large professional

Meetings and other events that attract large crowds and avoiding places that attract large crowds like movie theaters or malls we've seen some of this start to happen which is the good thing many academic conferences some of which I was

Gonna go to have been canceled and universities have suspended face-to-face classes the NC double-a tournament games we play with no audience the NBA just suspended game play after a player tested positive

Broadway shattered its doors at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday closing schools and working from home and much harder on some people than others some kids rely on the food provided at school and many parents rely on school is a safe place

For their kids to be while they're at work many people will not get paid if they stay home making childcare more of a problem and forcing some people to work while sick often in public facing jobs these are difficult issues but

We've got to address them because taking action is critical to flattening that curve we also need to properly quarantine to do that we need to have an excellent handle and testing and so far we do not listen most of you watching

This will be fine but in order to protect those who won't be fine we need to take action and if reducing risk to others isn't enough to spur you to action consider the consequences of not flattening this curve and then needing

Medical care for something else when the system saturated with coronavirus cases your chances of receiving good care will be considerably lower though my concern is much greater now my advice remains the same channel your fears into

Productive behaviors but this only works if we have cooperation from everyone including government media employers and individuals and it only works if we do it now hey did you find this episode

Interesting cuz no one's gonna enjoy it you might find this other episode on coronavirus interesting as well it also helps if you like and subscribe down below and if you support the show if you can at patreon.com slash healthcare

Triage we'd like to especially thank our research associate joe sevens and of course our surgeon Admiral Sam

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