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COVID-19: What Does It Mean to "Flatten the Curve"?

COVID-19: What Does It Mean to

COVID-19: What Does it Mean to "Flatten the Curve”?

And Why Should Healthy People Care?

Spring is in the air, summer’s just around the corner, and during a normal year, that would mean we’d all be prepping for fun activities and vacations. Unfortunately, 2020 is proving not to be a normal year at all. This year, along with spring showers, March has us focused on a potentially deadly and rapidly spreading virus. With so many people wondering if they should cancel all of their plans—and if so, for how long—I wanted to share my thoughts on COVID-19, flattening the curve, and why you should care. 

What is the curve we’re talking about here?

The term “curve” refers to a graph you may or may not have seen by now. Basically, the graph shows what happens when precautions aren’t put into place--it depicts a short amount of time during which a severe number of people are likely to become infected with coronavirus. In this example, the “curve” is sharp, high, and steep.

On the same graph, there is another curve—this one much shorter but longer, meaning the impact of COVID-19 would be widespread for a longer amount of time, but with less drastic effects. This curve is flatter and less severe.

Right now, a lot of people are wondering whether just getting things over with and allowing the virus to run its course might make the most sense. Unfortunately, that’s not as easy as it sounds. “Getting it over with” would have a significant enough impact to overwhelm our health care system and potentially lead to the type of triage tactics we’ve already seen play out in Italy and Spain. 

Long story short, by “flattening the curve” (spreading out the amount of sicknesses over a long period of time), we’re essentially doing what we can to ensure that hospital beds stay open, ventilators are available, and our healthcare system doesn’t crash. 

How do we flatten the curve?

The phrase to remember is, “Act out of an abundance of caution.” This means we should start being cautious before we are forced to be. In practice, you may see businesses and public facilities closing, and while this can be inconvenient, it will mean the difference between a tall, steep spike versus a more temperate curve—or in plainer terms, a stable or highly unstable healthcare system. 

How does COVID-19 impact me if I’m otherwise healthy?

The young and healthy may be wondering why they should care when they’re highly likely to be okay even if they do contract the virus. One reason we should be worried is because even though contracting coronavirus might not mean imminent death for most of us, it can mean lung scarring that can impact us for the rest of our lives. 

Another reason is that even if you stay healthy physically, you may be passing on the disease to those who cannot survive the illness, such as the elderly and those suffering from common diseases like cancer and asthma. 

So what can you do? A few suggestions from me + the CDC include:

  1. Act out of an abundance of caution and avoid getting together with people outside the people you live with. 

  2. Try to relax. Stress lowers your immune system and puts you at higher risk. 

  3. Eat the rainbow! Have a healthy, colorful diet, and that can help keep you strong. 

  4. Maintain your movement! Now isn’t the time to give up on exercise, so go on a quick walk, try a routine in your living room, or get creative. 

Remember: By doing our part, we CAN help to slow the spread and seriousness of this virus. 

Now isn’t the time to panic, but it is a great time to make decisions out of an abundance of caution to keep yourself happy and healthy. 

Have questions about keeping up your healthy habits amidst this pandemic? Wondering how I can support you as you navigate life with your whole family at home/without access to the gym? Feel free to comment or email me directly at

Above all else, stay safe and stay healthy, friends!


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