The “Flatten the Curve” Chart Was Ugly and Not Scientifically Rigorous. Why Did It Work So Well?

Posted on AllSides June 8th, 2020
From The Left

The first version of the now-ubiquitous “flatten the curve” chart appeared in a 2007 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The image, titled “Goals of Community Mitigation,” accompanied a list of radical recommendations to swiftly change American life in the event of a pandemic: close schools, cancel public gatherings, recommend voluntary isolation. The authors used a now-familiar term for the strategy: “social distancing.”

The colors have changed, but the chart then was more or less what we see today. Two ugly humps: one purple and steep, representing...

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