“We are not flattening the curve quickly enough,” according to a recent graphic from the Medical College of Wisconsin. The MCW has been collecting data from the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and Wisconsin Department of Health Services and recently put out this information detailing Wisconsin’s current coronavirus situation.
According to the Wisconsin Hospital Association Model, our hospital system will be over capacity within three to five weeks, as more coronavirus patients seek care. Cases are increasing 30% daily with a doubling rate of every three days. This is exponential growth, not linear, meaning that the number of patients will increase dramatically over a short period of time.
Those infected can remain asymptomatic for five to seven days, infecting others without being aware. This is why social distancing and other hygiene methods are so crucial, even if everyone around you appears healthy. This also means that the impact of social distancing and other policies will not be felt for at least those five to seven days, while many people with coronavirus remain asymptomatic.
The MCW also points out the 14-20% of coronavirus patients require hospitalization with at least oxygen support, and the disease does not only infect the elderly and those with preexisting conditions – children and healthy adults are also affected.
To avoid the overwhelmed hospitals – the horrible situations we’re seeing in Italy and Spain right now – we need to slow the rate of hospitalization to meet the rate of patient recovery. That flatter curve means that hospitals will have the resources they need to save lives.