Williams: Flattening the curve will help us beat an invisible enemy
Rep. Roger Williams
Austin American Statesman
Opinion: Flattening the curve will help us beat an invisible enemy
There is no getting past the fact that we are living in unique circumstances and uncertain times.
Whether or not we personally have been touched by COVID-19, we cannot deny that a faceless anxiousness is felt on the global stage. While our individual actions may seem insignificant or unnecessary, there are essential steps we can take to help combat the virus. Most importantly, we need to remain aware – not afraid.
Lately you may have heard the phrase “flatten the curve” repeated on the news and by the world’s leading health authorities. What this means is that by spreading out the number of cases–varying in severity–over the course of a few months instead of a few weeks, we are able to conserve vital supplies like hospital beds, monitors and ventilators. We are also able to conserve crucial human resources as health care professionals have more time and energy devoted to finding a cure.
Our doctors and nurses are working around the clock right now, often without sleeping for days on end, to ensure that our families are taken care of. Our first responders are on the front lines responding to emergencies, sometimes blindly walking into situations without protective equipment. Our farmers, ranchers, truck drivers and grocery store workers are keeping the supply chain moving as we sleep at night.
These men and women embody the American spirit that I know will carry us through this crisis.
Regardless of class, religion or political belief, we are all being challenged to place the safety of others before ourselves every moment of every day. While we are not used to things like recommended “social distancing,” these are necessary precautions to keep our neighbors safe. We have come to understand this virus spreads rapidly and easily, and we all have to do our part to help prevent it.
At a basic level, this includes washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, staying home unless absolutely necessary, covering your cough or sneeze, refraining from touching your face with unwashed hands and disinfecting frequently used surfaces on a regular basis. Prevention begins in the community and it is critically important that we remain aware of the responsibility we share.
We have just over 350 reported cases of COVID-19 in Texas as of this writing. That number will dramatically increase over the next few weeks because testing in larger quantities will be more readily available. When we hear these new statistics, we need to remember that by spreading out the number of people who are sick over a greater period of time, we are able to devote more resources to healing. Flattening the curve will help us beat an invisible enemy.
While we are facing a unique time of uncertainty, we are also a nation uniquely gifted to rise up when tested. I have full faith that by working together we will make it through to the other side – we have risen from seemingly impossible circumstances before and we will do it once again.
Williams, R-Austin, represents the 25th District of Texas.
Click here to view the op-ed originally published in the Austin-American Statesman.