Some of us feel as though we’re being told we have to stay inside for recess, we have to stay home, until everyone behaves.

Factoring in the coronavirus and the need to flatten the curve, our situation today is a bit more complex and it’s about saving lives.

If you understand flattening the curve, you understand why events are being canceled or postponed, why people are being asked to stay home, why buildings and businesses are closed.

The University of Michigan has a Center for the History of Medicine. Dr. Howard Markel, Ph.D., a medical historian said these steps are necessary.

“An outbreak anywhere can go everywhere,” he said. And right now, “We all need to pitch in to try to prevent cases both within ourselves and in our communities.” (Read more at

By keeping our distance from one another, we’re keeping the virus from one another, or at least slowing its spread (flattening the curve). That’s good for hospitals, who can only treat so many patients at one time.

A speech by a Chicago doctor hit home with many. Illinois has had more restrictive orders to stay at home. On March 20 University of Chicago Medicine Associate Professor Emily Landon explained why staying at home is crucial to protecting everyone.

“…we all acknowledge that this is the only way forward. This virus is unforgiving. It spreads before you even know you’ve caught it. And it tricks you into believing that it’s nothing more than a little influenza. For many of us, it may not be much more than the flu…”

“There is no vaccine or readily available antiviral to help stem the tide. All we have to slow the spread is distance. Social distance. If we let every patient with this infection infect three more people and then each of them infect two or three people, there won’t be a hospital bed when my mother can’t breathe very well or when yours is coughing too much…”

“…but this isn’t forever like the governor said. It will last longer than any of us wants it to but it will still just be a piece of our whole lives and we have to remember that.

“How can soccer or book club be so dangerous? Why ask so much of people for just a few hundred cases? Because it’s the only way to save lives. And now is the time. The numbers you see today in the news are the people are the people who got sick a week ago….

“It’s really hard to feel like you’re saving the world when you’re watching Netflix on your couch but, if we do this right, nothing happens. …Because ‘nothing’ means that nothing happened to your family and that’s what we are going for here.

“Even a little time makes a huge difference. It will take more than a week to start seeing the rate of increase slow down and that’s a complicated thing to say it will take even longer to see the rate come down and see it slowing and infections going down so please don’t give up.

“This is a huge sacrifice to make but a sacrifice that can make thousands of differences, maybe even a difference in your family too.”

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