#JustCurious What does 'flatten the curve' really mean?
REGINA -- Our health care system is a busy one. There’s no question. What hospital officials are hoping is that you and I can do our part to slow the flow of patients coming into hospitals with COVID-19.
Scientists and health officials tell us that if we can slow the spread of this virus over a longer period of time, that’s a good thing, because the health care system will be able to handle the flow of a smaller number of patients over a longer time than an influx of patients all at once, overloading a potentially already overrun hospital or care centre. Scientists use R0 (pronounced R-nought) to measure just how contagious a virus is. The R0 of COVID-19 is somewhere between two and three. That means every person who has COVID-19 is likely to spread it to two or three other people. You can see how quickly this virus could spread, right? So if you feel symptoms and you self isolate, you infect fewer people, and in turn fewer people are heading to busy hospitals for treatment.
The World Health Organization says COVID-19 is ten times deadlier than the flu. So, you can’t just say “it’s just the flu”. It’s not. It’s worse.
The reason we are being asked to “social distance” and constantly wash our hands is to help make sure we stay healthy.