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Only you can stop the spread of virus -- Gary Gimmestad

Only you can stop the spread of virus -- Gary Gimmestad


An analysis of the past three weeks of daily Wisconsin coronavirus data published in this newspaper shows that our current doubling time in the cumulative total number of cases is about one month.

The doubling time is a characteristic of exponential growth, and continued doubling is vicious. Back when we had 100 cases of COVID-19, doubling only added 100 more, and our medical facilities could easily handle that. Now we have about 50,000 cases. We could be on track for 50,000 new cases by the end of August. By the end of September, we could add 100,000 additional cases at this rate. Eventually, we could be in danger of becoming overwhelmed like New York was.

But our fate is in our own hands, because exponential growth stops when each infected person infects fewer than one other person on average. So it all comes down to individual behavior: wearing masks, social distancing, hand washing, and avoiding large groups. To paraphrase Smokey Bear, only you can prevent COVID-19.

Gary Gimmestad, Stoughton

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