As America enters what President Trump warns will be its “toughest week,” many are hoping that lockdown measures introduced in cities and communities across the country will lessen the devastation we face. The strict social distancing guidelines are an attempt to flatten the curve, an approach that has been described as America’s best bet at drawing the coronavirus outbreak under our control.

While it is true that flattening the curve is an important tactic, it may not be sufficient to end the epidemic quickly. In principle, “flattening the curve” slows the rate of new infections, but the total number of infections under the curve may remain the same. Our goal should be to reduce the total number of people exposed and infected, not just slow down the spread of the disease.

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Originally published on Fox News Opinion (April 8, 2020)