‘Flattening the curve’ efforts continue as pandemic spreads

Many states, including Pennsylvania, are faced with the question of whether to relax current social distancing measures and setting up contract tracing as the US starts to “flatten the curve.”

Hospitals all over the country have had to help thousands of people that develop COVID-19 after developing symptoms including difficulty breathing, high fever, and muscle pain, according to the CDC.
The question of whether to extend the social distancing guidelines has been a question many states have had to face while still trying to “flatten the curve”. The “curve” is the rise of coronavirus cases.
The idea with “flattening the curve” is to keep the level of cases at a manageable level so that the health professionals can deal with the amount of patients coming into the hospital without getting overloaded with cases.
This is also in place so that they have the ability to focus also on other patients in the hospital. In the United States, the curve has started to flatten, with cases starting to come in each day that is less than the day before.
However, according to the Logistics Team Leader of Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown, Maryland Lida Walla,, it would be a bad idea to open up the country prematurely.
“My fear is that if we do not continue to practice social distancing, more people will become infected and those people will then cause others to become infected. I know how hard this has been for our country, especially in reference to the economy; but, if the country opens up too soon, I believe this virus will continue to spread and cause many more deaths,” said Walla.
Pennsylvania has started to flatten the curve, according to Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Rachel Levine, but the influx of patients, according to Lehigh Valley ER nurse Tina Bucci, is increasing at her hospital.
“I think this is happening because they think things are starting to calm down,” Bucci said.
Buccie also said that the hospital has been sending home patients that have more “manageable” symptoms so that the hospital has room for really sick patients that are having a lot of trouble breathing and need to be intubated and put on a ventilator.
According to University of Pennsylvania cardiac nurse Hayley Blumenthal, the curve is starting to flatten at her hospital.
“They closed a bunch of floors in the hospital to make room for patients that have the coronavirus,” said Blumenthal.
Blumenthal states that Friday, April 17 was the day that they had the peak of coronavirus patients at her hospital.
According to Blumenthal, other hospitals in the UPENN system had started to see a decline in coronavirus patients.
“I also found out today the the hospital has started to open up some of the floors to go back to what they were doing, so I think they are expecting that they are not going to get a surge of coronavirus patients that they were prepared and ready for,” said Blumenthal.