flatten the curve

flatten the curve

To slow the spread of an infectious disease so that its outbreak is more manageable for medical professionals. The graphical "curve" indicates how many people have the illness. A sharp curve means that many people have the illness all at the same time, which then overtaxes the healthcare system. Stay-at-home measures were put in place during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic to flatten the curve. We don't have enough doctors to treat all these projected cases—we must take steps to flatten the curve.
See also: curve, flatten
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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