Coronavirus is spreading rapidly. If the number of people with the disease continues to grow exponentially, it will overwhelm the healthcare system within a month. Hospitals will be so packed with patients that hospitals will run out of ventilators needed to keep seriously ill patients alive, and intensive care units will be filled to capacity. The lack of adequate medical care will increase the death rate from the disease, from under 1% to over 3%.
The Washington Post reports that is already about to happen throughout northern Italy, where the disease arrived earlier than in the U.S.
To slow down the spread of coronavirus, and keep the healthcare system from being overwhelmed, we need to close America’s schools now. That’s the point being made by experts like Howard Markel, who recently published an article in the New York Times. He studied the devastating epidemic that killed at least 800,000 Americans in 1918-19. His study looked at the relationship between death tolls, local government policies, and social distancing during the Spanish flu outbreak in 1918 and 1919.