What does it mean when people say we need to “flatten the curve”? It means we are trying to slow the spread of the coronavirus. This will lower the number of people needing medical care, or life-saving ICU treatment. Otherwise, if everybody gets sick at once, creating an immediate flood of patients, it can overwhelm the healthcare system. Too many additional COVID-19 patients will stress hospitals who also need to take care of all types of patients. The downside, is that the disease will be around longer, spread out over time. But the good news is that there are likely to be fewer patient deaths, both from the coronavirus, and from other types of illnesses. Fewer healthcare workers will get infected, which helps keep more healthcare professionals on the front lines. Avoiding a huge spike in patients helped buy needed time in order to get people vaccinated, better therapies for the ill, and drugs that will specifically treat COVID-19. Read this short piece from the University of Michigan Health News.