What is ‘Flatten the Curve’ and Why it is so Important

South San Francisco, CA   March 15, 2020

We see more and more businesses take heed of warnings to ‘flatten the curve’ and shutter their shops temporarily, a very tough decision to make. From small shops like Burlingame’s Nuts for Candy, to one of our local favorite watering holes, Molloy’s Tavern, to South City’s Artists on Wheels, responsible owners are doing what they can to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread. Please remember these businesses when an ‘all clear’ is signaled in time, they will all need our business to survive.

This risk from COVID-19 is real as San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa announced the following as of noon Sunday March 15th:

COVID-19 San Mateo County Case Count
Positive 31
Deaths 1
Total Cases 32

We can expect these numbers to rise, and we all have a responsibility to do what we can to help slow those numbers down- we must remember those numbers represent real people!

We keep hearing reports to ‘social distance’, to ‘isolate’ or ‘quarantine’ so we can all help ‘flatten the curve’. What does that mean?

It is important to understand this term ‘Flatten the Curve’ and this chart below shows how this virus spreads exponentially, and the need for social distancing and isolation for a duration of time, yet to be determined.



The Washington Post offers these charts to show how important social distancing is to slow the spread of this new virus.

This is a new experience for us all, and uncertainty can be frightening,

just as a ‘free-for-all’ mentality can be dangerous.

Please read this Washington Post article HERE as it has a simulation of all four of these models.

Even from the chart above we can see ‘extensive distancing’ is more effective.


Perhaps as more and more practice ‘extensive distancing’ the quicker we will have better control, and in a shorter time, be able to come out and see a new world.

But make no mistake about it. Life will not be as it was before, ever. We will awaken to a new reality, economically, and otherwise.

Err on the side of caution, too many lives depend on it.

The links below offer other good information and are worthy of checking out.

Washington Post: Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to ‘flatten the curve’ 

New York Times: Tracking Every Coronavirus Case in the U.S.: Full Map

UCSF:Why Experts Are Urging Social Distancing to Combat Coronavirus Outbreak

This Pediatrician Recommends NO Coronavirus Break Playdates

Coronavirus and the Sun: a Lesson from the 1918 Influenza Pandemic

Newsweek:Young and Unafraid of the Coronavirus Pandemic? Good for You. Now Stop Killing People | Opinion


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