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Coronavirus Disease 2019 -  The Principles of the Curve, Explained Simply
  • Yelda Jozaghi, MD, FRCSC
Yelda Jozaghi, MD, FRCSC
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
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Abstract

Much has been discussed about the curve of COVID-19 as it ravages through our countries, our cities, our homes. Politicians readily refer to it in addressing the various nations of the world. They ask us to “flatten the curve to save lives” 1,2. Effectively, the way to flatten the curve is to abide by social distancing measures.
Nevertheless, even among medical specialists, there are common misconception about the curve and how it affects population outcomes. Understanding the fundamental characteristics of a problem can allow us to see the problem with more clarity. Herein, I aim to provide a simple understanding of the various population dynamics at play. We will review how principles such as the area under the curve and thethreshold of capacity can be conceptualized.
The discussion will begin as rudimentary. However, it will add gentle layers of complexity. Hopefully, by the end, it will provide the reader a sense of insight.