Check out our new blog post that discusses flattening the curve and provides an economic connection to COVID-19. Here is the student guide to view and download.
Riddle me this: What has the power to double in size every 3 days, yet it cannot be seen with the naked eye?
Answer: SARS-CoV-2, the new strain of coronavirus. (COVID-19 refers to the disease that the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) can cause; which broke out in 2019.)
Riddle me this: What lock gives more and more freedom, the stronger the lock?
Answer: A lockdown. The more people who participate in voluntary lockdowns (or “social distancing”) will provide a slower spread of disease and additional freedom from sickness. The slower the spread of any sickness, including the Coronavirus allows medical personnel to help those who need it most. Social distancing helps to “flatten the curve.”
So, what does it mean to flatten the curve, and what does it have to do with economics?
Remember the days of chickenpox? Or maybe your generation has received the vaccine shot to thwart this childhood illness that was once unhealthily considered a “rite of passage” to children until the mid 90’s. How different is this new strand of the Coronavirus to the old one, or to the common cold for that matter? Check out a quick graph from the New York Times to compare.
What surprises you about this chart? How familiar are you with these other infectious diseases? Does what you think you know match the data?
Shouldn’t we all just keep to washing our hands and staying home if we are the ones who are sick- just as we did before this pandemic? What is the big deal? How and why do medical professionals want us to flatten the curve? What curve exactly?
Reading through the article Coronavirus in Florida latest: Statewide closings, new cases, flattening the curve by Tampa Bay Times posted March 18, 2020, you can learn what is making some business owners and parents nervous as well as identify some economic issues at hand.
The end of the article hints at flattening the curve but doesn’t say how or what that infamous curve even is. If you have time, you can access their link to the suggested podcast, but you can also just keep reading here!
Take a look at how Mydel Antolin explains “flattening the curve” on CBC’s Kids News.
What does that curve look like if you had to draw it? How would you flatten that curve? Statnews provides an excellent video clip to show just what that flattened image would look like.
The best step-by-step guide on how to flatten the curve is a simulator provided by the Washington Post: “Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to “flatten the curve.” Author Harry Stevens is a graphics reporter who creates some pretty cool simulations to teach Washington Post readers just how effective “social distancing” really can be. Watch each of the four simulations and feel empowered to spread the news on just what flattening the curve is, and why all Americans should participate. Make an educated guess on where America is relative to these four simulations. What about China? What about France and Italy?
Extension: Create a political cartoon to teach younger students about flattening the curve or economic issues of the coronavirus.
Created by Deborah Kozdras and Brittany Sampson