A primer on “flattening the curve”

VACAS 2020 has been cancelled as part of a larger effort to “flatten the curve” of covid-19 transmission.

Below I have attached two articles that explain the public health concept of “flattening the curve.” Essentially, this is the concept: most of us are healthy and not especially threatened by this virus. However, among our networks of friends and family are those who are indeed threatened (the elderly, those already ailing from other conditions, individuals with a compromised immune systems, etc.). Social distancing (e.g., cancelling events like VACAS) will slow the spread of the virus, allowing hospitals to treat fewer covid-19 patients at any one moment in time, thus keeping the outbreak within the existing capacity of the medical system (see chart below). In other words, we did not cancel VACAS 2020 to protect ourselves. We cancelled the conference out of solidarity with others, to protect those most vulnerable to the virus.

Please be safe and be well. And, again, let us know if you have any specific questions.


Tim Gibson

President, VACAS

1. Washington Post article on the benefits of social distancing.

2. Vox article on how canceling events (or moving them online) can save lives.