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One Year of Flattening the Curve
What are we afraid of, at this point?

It's been one year since the state started keeping statistics on the "flatten the curve" graph and it looks as if the trajectory of the disease is being driven by the disease and not by state-enforced behaviors such as mask mandates and restrictions on public spaces such as restaurants. This point is made even more salient if Oregon is compared to other states such as Florida which had relatively fewer mandates and rules, yet have a curve similar to this.

While the potential impact on hospital capacity was unknown a year ago, it's pretty clear now that hospital capacity is not now in jeopardy and in hindsight never was. There is no reason that government, through regulation, needs to "flatten the curve." To some, those words are an indictment of a power hungry government, insensitive to the little guy. The economic impact of COVID-19 has fallen disproportionately on small businesses and lower-wage workers.

The graph -- which has been the top of the stack since last year -- has a caption at the side which reads:

"When people say we want to "flatten the curve," this is the curve they are talking about. We want to slow the number of new cases of COVID-19 so our healthcare system isn't overwhelmed and can provide care to everyone who needs it."

Another amazing thing is that the seasonal flu seems to have been eradicated. The Oregon Health Authority report on influenza like illness shows a remarkably low incidence of flu this year. Maybe it was because everyone was wearing a mask. Or maybe it was because every flu case was diagnosed to be COVID-19, driven by hospitals and governments which were incentivized to record it as such.

Buried deep on the OHA site is this graph, which compares flu seasons. This season is the orange line at the bottom.

As a fearful legislature huddles in a boarded up, fenced up Capitol, unsure if they are more afraid of right-wing protestors or COVID-19, some are calling for an end to lockdowns. Maybe the party in power just prefers to legislate without the rabble second guessing them.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-03-14 18:01:55Last Update: 2021-03-14 20:04:29



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