The coronavirus is not something that can be stopped by a single government or institution. It takes all world citizens to bring a stop to this horrible disease. This means listening to the authorities and being rational when it comes to your decision making. Having a laid back attitude and ignoring health precautions can result in dangerous situations where there are insufficient medical resources to treat everyone. We need to flatten the curve, we need to stay home.

The Curve

As the total death toll in the Netherlands is passing the 20, and the total amount of infected is well above a thousand, this image of a curve representing a pandemic is now more than ever important for people to understand. The horizontal line is the maximum capacity of our health care system. This means hospital beds, doctors and nurses, medical supplies, etc. In the Netherlands, there are a total of 1150 IC spots. Once these fill up, we reach the point that goes over this horizontal line. Above that, there will be insufficient means to treat patients.

Pandemic curve with explanations

To stay under this maximum, countries are taking precautions. For example closing schools or going into a complete lockdown. Such measures ensure that the amount of new patients each day will either decrease or grow less rapidly. In that way, the curve will be flattened out over a longer period of time, giving our health care system more workroom.

If measure are taken too late or not severe enough, the peak can rise above the line of maximum capacity. This results in patients left untreated. Looking at what happened in other counties, such as Italy, this could mean that hospitals will have to choose who the help. In reality that often means the elderly are not given sufficient medical care because their chances of survival are significantly lower than those of younger patients.

Photo by Jonnica Hill on Unsplash

Stay inside

This is why I am asking you, please, you might not feel unsafe yourself, but think of your grandparents or the grandparents of others. Do not risk infecting them, or taking away precious hospital beds by getting sick yourself. The only way we can help flatten the curve is, when possible, to stay home. Social distancing will ensure that the peak stays below the line of our maximum capacity. Medical experts and virologists are urging people to do so because they fear the situation is worsening quicker than we think.

Perhaps instead of just sticking to the rule of ‘no more than a 100 people together’, you should consider if it is worth possibly catching a deadly virus and passing it on by going to crowded places. Instead of going out to clubs, birthday parties, or the gym; maybe stay home. I find it hard to believe people are unable to just stay home and keep minimal contacts for a few weeks. Obviously this is taking a toll on your mental health, and I understand it takes a lot of strength. However, in times like these I see no other fitting option than to each take our own responsibility.

Better to be safe than sorry.

For the most up-to-date information on the coronavirus click here.

Also read:
The Netherlands and The Coronavirus Response: Too Little and Too Late.
Corona and the Media: When Free Speech Becomes Hate Speech.