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What you can do to help flatten the curve

Dr. Bruce Swords from Cone Health spoke with us about the importance of flattening the curve.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The coronavirus pandemic is big. It's the biggest event a lot of us have ever dealt with. Thinking about how to deal with something that big can be scary. But thankfully you don't have to do everything. 

Flattening the curve is all of our responsibility. But what does that term actually mean? 

When you look at pandemics on a graph the infection rate spikes at a certain point, causing a literal curve. Flattening the curve quite simply means bringing the number of infections down.

"So what that really does is allow communities to manage the number of people who will get, in this case, coronavirus over a longer period of time. So there isn't an acute need that can't be managed, but rather there's a subacute need or a moderate need that can be managed over a longer period of time," said Dr. Bruce Swords. 

So the definition is simple, and how to do it is simple too. Social distancing is the best way to prevent the spread of covid-19. Stay home unless you have to leave your home. And when you do make sure you're staying at least 6 feet apart from other people. Make sure you're washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds. Wear a mask or other type of face-covering when you go out. Don't touch your face whenever possible.

"Don't be in large groups period." said Dr. Swords. "Don't be around people other than your family, folks that you live in your own house with..With some caveats." If you need to go to the store or get some fresh air and exercise outside, you can do that. But you

This is important because people with coronavirus can be asymptomatic. Symptoms can also take up to 14 days to arrive show up. So you or someone outside could appear healthy and still be carrying coronavirus. 

Flattening the curve is important, but once it happens, you can't let your guard down. If people stop social distancing as soon as infections dip it can cause another spike very quickly. 

So do what you can to help and make sure you're staying home as much as possible. 

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