COVID is going to COVID: ‘Flatten the curve’ was never meant to be ‘stop the spread’

Virginia covid-19

(© Ingo Menhard –

Gotta correct the person in charge of Gov. Ralph Northam’s Facebook page, who seems to think we can “stop the spread” of COVID-19.

“Flatten the curve” was never “stop the spread.”

You can’t “stop the spread” of a virus. A virus is gonna virus.

You can slow it, and that’s what “flatten the curve” was all about.

Managing the number of cases so that hospitals don’t get overwhelmed, until the virus burns out.

But, “stop the spread”?

No way. Was never going to happen.

In a message posted Friday, the social media person noted a “concerning increase” in COVID-19 cases in Hampton Roads.

“We will continue watching the data over the coming days to make sure public health guidelines are being followed—and I won’t hesitate to impose restrictions if needed.”

Apparently, this bears repeating.

The places that have seen their COVID-19 situations come under control – Europe, the New York City metro area, the DMV – are there because the virus has hit burnout.

Northam has to know this. He authorized Northern Virginia to go from his Phase Zero to Phase One when it was at its peak in terms of COVID-19 spread.

Back on May 31, two days after Northam allowed NoVa to begin its slow reopen from a two-month-plus lockdown, the region was at a seven-day rolling average of new reported cases of 685.3, literally the high-water mark for the pandemic.

Today’s update from the Virginia Department of Health has Northern Virginia at a seven-day rolling average of new reported cases of 139.4.

This is a 79.7 percent drop.

For a region that was at its peak when the governor authorized it to open back up.

Downstate, cases were at a fraction of where they were in NoVa at the time.

Northern Virginia, 37 percent of the state’s population, was accounting for 57.3 percent of the state’s COVID-19 cases on May 31.

So, now Hampton Roads, 20.1 percent of the state’s population, is having its moment.

News flash: everybody gets a turn in the barrel.

There’s no need to make it moralistic.

It’s not about not being “vigilant,” about “letting our guard down.”

California, which like Virginia has had a mandatory mask requirement in place for several weeks, is having its moment now, after being praised for having done a good job suppressing the virus really up until now.

We’ve allowed ourselves to be seduced into thinking that viruses come and go by using terms like “flu season” that obscure the fact that the “seasonal flu” is circulating year-round, and what we call “flu season” is just when it gets worse, sometimes to the point of filling up our hospitals and ICUs, even requiring some localities to erect temporary field hospitals, to triage care.

I think we’d all be better off if those in public office, and their social media managers, would put the kibosh on the moralizing, and treat us all like the taxpaying adults we are.

If we need to put the brakes on, downshift, for a week or two, so be it.

Just, seriously, cut the bs about it being the outcome of people being irresponsible.

A million Virginians have had to file for unemployment in the past four months, and we’re still not sure if our leaders have a clue as to what they’ve done having any impact other than to delay the burnout.

If you want to know why the preachiness is falling on deaf ears, there’s your why.

Story by Chris Graham


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