The Experts are trying to flatten the Curve
But, is it happening?
Ever since the COVID Virus became the focus of our lives, the experts are all saying that we are taking steps to flatten the curve. In other words, keep the number of cases lower so that the graph will have a lower curve.
Is it happening? Many of the press conferences by officials of both parties have been saying that they are seeing a flattening of the curve. They say the number of cases is decreasing, or at least the rate of increase is showing. But, is it?
I don’t think the curve is flattening
Hey, I am not an epidemiologist. I’m not a doctor of any kind. I can read a graph and look at statistics and get a handle on what is happening.
I follow the stats online through the COVID-19 Dashboard from Johns Hopkins University. Johns Hopkins seems that it is a reliable source. They don’t seem to be giving an opinion, only the numbers, and each person can draw their own conclusion.
Each day, one of the graphs on the Dashboard shows the number of confirmed cases, graphed day by day. The graph starts in January and is updated daily. The screenshot that I am showing below was taken today, April 13, 2020, at 4:30 PM, so it is current as of this writing.
As you can see from the graph, from January through the end of February there was daily slow growth in the number of cases of the virus. Starting around the beginning of March, the graph skyrocketed. The upward trend does not seem to have slowed at all. In other words, the curve is not flattening, at least not in terms of the number of confirmed cases.
Something that the graph does not show
I admit, one thing you can’t see from the graph is how the number of cases compared to the number of tests performed on that day. It is possible that they are ramping up the number of cases so much that it is driving the increase in the graph. In other words more and more tests given daily, with the result being a smaller and smaller percentage of positive tests. The same approximate number of confirmed cases found each day, but it might be taking more and more cases to find the same number of new cases. That is possible.
But, since we are gaining more and more cases, and seemingly at the same or a similar rate of increase daily, I would argue that the curve is not flattening.
When will quarantine end?
A lot of people are getting stir crazy, wanting to have more freedom of movement. I can’t argue. Staying in the house day after day is not fun.
We don’t know when the quarantine will end. In Indiana, where I live, the quarantine is scheduled to run for another week, until April 20. I feel sure, though, that it will be extended.
About the earliest that I have heard is that we will regain our freedom of movement on May 1, or at the beginning of May (maybe not exactly on the 1st). I have also heard people saying June, or even later. I read that in England they are considering extending quarantine until the end of the year. Since early March when quarantines first got started in the USA, I have argued that we would not reach a state of normalcy until our lives have been interrupted for 12 to 18 months. I don’t know anything, this is just my feeling.
Looking at the curve, though, I don’t see how we could possibly see the end of quarantine around May 1. It is doubtful that we will be on the downward slope by then.
What do you think? Is the curve flattening? Will we see the curve heading downward soon? How much longer can you quarantine without going crazy? Let me know in the comments! We’re all in this together.