Flattening the curve is a theoretical statistical model predicated on limiting the impact on healthcare systems. Contrary to popular belief, it was never meant to stop the virus. (Read: The Myth of Curve Flattening, Curve Flattening Never Meant to Stop Covid-19)
Sadly, politicians and political pundits have blatantly lied to the public regarding the true nature of curve flattening.
Still, if one looks at the visual depiction of the model, it is clear—the area, the number of hospitalizations, under the curve doesn’t change, merely the relative peaks change.
(Note: Hospitalizations are the only number of importance (infections are immaterial) as they are a direct subset of infections. Likewise all deaths are a subset of hospitalizations.)
The goal of curve flattening was to avoid overwhelming the healthcare system—period, nothing more.
What’s so troubling, the misuse of the curve flattening premise has not only led to bad policy—it has brought real economic hardship, hardships were never going to halt the spread of the virus.
Regrettably, we never truly understood the curve flattening model. If we had, we would have realized there are in fact two main ways to prevent a nation’s healthcare system from being overwhelmed.
One can focus on trying to control what amounts to an uncontrollable event or one can increase healthcare resources.
Ultimately, State Governors chose to embark on the impossible, control the uncontrollable.
This single-minded focus led to foolish edicts such as shuttering all so-called non-essential business and “shelter in place.”
It is worth noting, there were always too many unknowns associated with the Coronavirus—transmission mode, infection rates, recovery time—etc., to think we had a chance of controlling something we had so little insight.
It was beyond idiotic.
Eventually, hit by reality, Governors have begun to shift their attention to what it should have been all along—increase our damn capacity.
This should have been the focus of states the moment we had some inclination COVID-19 was imminent: how to provide for the medical needs of the general population when the Coronavirus struck. States should have rolled out plans to increase their capacity to handle the potential needs of their citizens. (Read: States versus Federal Responsibility)
Instead, the focus was on draconian edicts of “self-isolate.”
The question was never asked: what if the proposed solutions of “self-isolation” or the closure of all non-essential businesses failed? (Read: In Times of Crisis: No Room for Dissent)
What was the backup plan?
There wasn’t one…that’s absurd.
Control has failed and was always going to fail—the very nature of COVID-19 made that a forgone conclusion.
Furthermore, it should have been obvious to anyone willing to look at the issue sans rose colored glasses theoretical models aren’t real world—they’re pie in the sky visions from the world of academia. (Read: The Myth of Curve Flattening)
The real world solution: provide healthcare to those in need by focusing on what we could actually control—increase our damn capacity.