Health analyst says slowing 'tidal wave' of coronavirus cases is key to avoid overwhelming hospitals

Tim O'Donnell

When it comes to the new COVID-19 coronavirus, it's all about flattening the curve, Drew Harris, a population health analyst at Thomas Jefferson University, told The New York Times in an interview. In other words, the U.S. needs to make sure the number of coronavirus cases doesn't peak so high that the health care system reaches a point where it's over capacity.

Harris said while the "ideal goal" of fighting a pandemic like the coronavirus outbreak is to "completely halt the spread," slowing it down is "critical." In fact, he added that trying to force the outbreak to end quickly is a "recipe for panic, unnecessary suffering, and death." On the other hand, he said trying to slow the disease and spread out the "tidal wave of cases" is the right way to save lives and keep hospitals from getting overwhelmed.

One way to do that, he told the Times, is to encourage "social distancing." Even if people aren't self-isolating or in actual quarantine, taking steps like reducing the number of people on public transportation, staggering work hours, or limiting visitors to nursing homes are ways to mitigate the spread. Read more at The New York Times.

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