COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Health Department director Dr. Amy Acton said that thanks to the collective actions of Ohioans, the state is successfully “flattening the curve”—reducing the spike of COVID-19 illnesses that if not prepared for, would overwhelm our hospital systems.
Acton said models have shown that because of the actions of state leaders—including Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Acton herself—along with the cooperation of residents of Ohio, the curve is smoothing out, giving hospitals time to prepare for a surge when cases peak in April to mid-May.
The health director used a hurricane as a metaphor for the work Ohioans are doing to slow the spread of COVID-19.
"Our curves would have been much steeper had we not acted and starting a couple of weeks ago. So every action you’re taking at home is actually, in the case of a hurricane, changing how hard that storm will hit," Acton said.
The initial models were like the weather forecast of a hurricane, Acton said. At first, models can show an estimate of how strong the hurricane might get and where the hurricane might land, but it isn’t certain.
.@DrAmyActon: Picture a hurricane in its early stages. First, they tell us where it might land, but they can't say when or where exactly it will hit. Then as you get closer, your predications get better. Similarly, our models are giving us a compass. pic.twitter.com/qwwoJaaYHQ— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) March 28, 2020
As the days go on, the accuracy of the prediction gets better as the factors that change a hurricane take effect, much like the factors that change the spread of COVID-19 take effect, such as the stay at home order and practicing of social distancing.
Acton said the actions of Ohioans have already helped reduce the “hurricane” to a Category 2 or 3, rather than a Category 4 or 5.
While the peak has yet to come and numbers are still expected to rise, Acton is confident the impact of Ohioans’ cooperation during this pandemic will drastically reduce how bad it ends up here. That's why continuing social distancing and following DeWine's stay at home order is still so important.
“We know the wave is coming. We know it’s getting smaller every day in Ohio because of what you’re doing,” Acton said.
What we know is this - There is no scenario without a hurricane, we are in the blue curve. What you are doing is helping us. What is important is that every day we don't spread #COVID19 makes all the difference for our frontline healthcare workers. pic.twitter.com/CiJW8SUeol— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) March 28, 2020
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