The area under the curve represents the number of people who are expected to be infected by CVODI-19 will be the same independent of the height of the peak. That is, the summit may be suppressed, and the slope lowered, but the total of the number of people who eventually get sick will be the same. This is because there may be no natural immunity and no vaccine; therefore, everyone will ultimately be infected with COVID-19. This, in turn, means that the death rate will be very dependent on just how overloaded our health care system become, or more specifically, how many ventilators we have.
One other thing about flattening a curve where time is the horizontal line is that the timeline moves further into the future. This current two-week "shelter-in-place" is a deception. Our state and federal government officials are not adequately settings expectations on how long we need to hunker down inside our homes like prisoners.
NOTE: An normal distribution bell curve is often used to illustrate the spread of COVID-19, but the growth of COVID-19 will most likely follow a right long-tail distribution bell curve.
Some are already predicting calamity from false expectations.
Typically in times of crisis, such as recessions, war, and natural disasters, people come together. But the coronavirus outbreak is not a typical catastrophe, and coming together is challenging, if not impossible.
Mental health professionals and addiction support groups warn that this public health emergency poses a serious threat to people for whom social contact is a key element of support and treatment. Social distancing and isolation are triggers for people with mental health issues, experts say. Christopher Miller, BuzzFeed
But it isn't just "us" stuck at home, isolation negatively impacts health care workers, many of whom are anxious about the impact on their families.
I’m a Dr.— Seema (@seemathewombat) March 16, 2020
I’m about to separate from my family within my home for ?? months.
So that I can keeping treating you, whilst trying to keep my family safe.
No hugs from my girls, no cuddles from my partner.
PLS socially distance NOW, to make my sacrifice worth it.
My spouse is a physician in the emergency dept, and is actively treating #coronavirus patients. We just made the difficult decision for him to isolate & move into our garage apartment for the foreseeable future as he continues to treat patients. (1/5)— Rachel Patzer, PhD, MPH (@RachelPatzerPhD) March 17, 2020
For me, my anxiety comes from uncertainty and the indefinite nature of the "shelter-in-place" order. I have never lived my life just getting by day-to-day. I have always been a future planner, a person who can see a future state and work toward it. It's what helped me keep my chin up through the difficult health challenges in 2018 and 2019. I can't imagine that I would survive mentally if I were in a "rock-and-a-hard-place" situation these doctors find themselves in with no clear end in sight.