Researchers create hypothetical models to understand the spread of disease. These models aren’t certainties. They are possibilities. After so many projections these possibilities begin to reveal a pattern. That pattern is visually represented as a curve. The curve in this instance is the number of people who may contract COVID-19 over time. It is against these numbers that we can test the impact of actions like social distancing, school closures, or quarantines. Researchers can also test this number against our state’s resources; such as the number of hospital beds, medical professionals, or respirators available to treat the infected.
If there aren’t enough resources to treat so many people in this projection, there is a problem. If closures and social distancing show a positive effect on the spread, then we have a solution. Without a cure or vaccine at the moment, acting collectively to slow the spread of COVID-19 is the most effective option. These simple strategies have been effective at combating the community spread of diseases for more than a century in the United States.