Medical professionals in Plano have a message for residents: In an effort to "flatten the curve," people – no matter their age – should stay home as much as they can.
Flattening the curve is a term referring to the decrease of COVID-19 cases. The meaning comes from visual graphics showing the number of cases in specific locations.
Medical City Plano’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Parikshet Babber said the concept is essential for the medical field. Because the situation is changing rapidly, healthcare centers need time to ramp up efforts against the virus.
“By flattening the curve, we're allowing the demand in the community to match our capacity and our capabilities. A way we can do that is through social distancing,” Babber said. “Really, social distancing is the idea of avoiding physical contact to prevent the potential spread of COVID.”
The number of COVID-19 cases in Plano is rising, but by keeping a distance from others, residents can slow the spread.
Social distancing also helps protect people whose immune systems are vulnerable to the illness. People who are fighting other conditions or taking certain medications are immunocompromised and unable to combat COVID-19 as well as others.
“Another way you can promote social distancing is if you can leverage technology to virtually meet your friends and family,” Babber said. “Certainly if you have to leave your house, avoid any type of crowd or any type of gathering of more than 10 people.”
The spread of COVID-19 is unpredictable. Babber said even if a young and healthy individual feels normal, they are still at risk of being a carrier and spreading it to friends and families. Not everyone who looks healthy has a stable immune system.
“For it to work effectively, it really should be society as a whole. Because younger folks who are in their 20s and 30s, they may, unbeknownst to them, be passing the virus to those that are vulnerable,” Babber said.
Medical City now has a web page dedicated to screening residents who have symptoms that match the respiratory symptoms of COVID-19. Users can go to MedicalCityHealthCare.com and click “COVID-19 Screening Assessment” to begin the questionnaire. Patients who want to see a doctor can visit one virtually.
“These are extraordinary times – for all of the world. If we do our part, I think we'll definitely get through this,” Babber said.