Mathing the COVID-19 Curve

Day 7 of Na/GloPoWriMo!  The target objective?

“…a poem based on a news article.

My subject today can be drawn on any number of articles plastered throughout our daily news periodicals to the point it cannot be escaped really.  But, how do we then understand social distancing and its need in facing off and beating down this pandemic?

Pozciti Polska - Novel Coonavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

Mathing the COVID-19 Curve
by Michael Doyle

Part of math's power
Is in mapping what's to come
This is needed more than ever in this hour
So much so, it makes my mind numb

At first glance, COVID-19 
Seems a bit overblown
From the math seen
It's easier to understand what's been shown

The simplest of change comes in linear
Adding a little each and every day
But what of epidemics which are nonlinear
It becomes clear that it's a troubling way

Illness impacted by time
Adds up to say maybe 100 a day
Projecting as if it were a straight line
Easy enough wouldn't you say?

The illness coming is here and exponential
The feedback loop keeps rapidly increasing
Expanding in numbers of horrifying potential
Instead of staying the same or decreasing

We humans tend to see in the linear
But epidemics are on a Logarithmic scale
Applying a exponential model of the non-linear
And is needed to understand our tale

So how long before we're out of hospital beds?
As the current data shows
This thought is staggering to my head
By mid-April, if constant, the beds will be on overflow

Business as usual would be our very death
And this is what we must heed and understand
Trajectory rates vary but all take my breath
Early action is needed throughout every land

The earlier and more action that is taken
The more lives we will save
There comes a point where however shaken
The susceptible in society will heal or go to grave

This then is where we must be in supplication
Even taking notice of the SIR curve
If we as society are to have right application
And in doing so steady our nerves

In the beginning, all within are susceptible in population
Though the infected will be in degrees of proportion
And as a virus moves through the greater population
There will be impactful removal of its own proportion

How quickly this happens depends almost exclusively on contact
How much, how often and is this a consistent contact rate
The rate of healing (or death) will to have it's impact
The rate of death or healing lessens infection sealing our fate

The absence of any known vaccine spells it out
That our resiliency is dependent on contact
The base reproduction number removes all doubt
That contact is the gasoline of this fire is simply fact

Reducing the rate of contact lessens the infection
And the outbreak is no longer quite as bad
For now the 1918 Influenza is less worse than our current direction
Medical care is crucial but the lack of common sense is sad

We do have the ability to mitigate the contact rate
And if together we practice good habit of basic sanitation
We can flatten the curve and escape our worse fate
The math proves that keeping calm and safe will save our nations

(c) April 7, 2020  Michael Doyle
All Rights Reserved

Home, Sweet, Home - The Complexity of One Alone





About alohapromisesforever

Writer, poet, musician, surfer, father of two princesses.
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