The urgent battle to flatten Wisconsin’s COVID-19 curve

Hospitals look To maximize capacity while social distancing efforts try to slow the pandemic

By Will Cushman, WisContext

Over the course of a single historic week, daily life in Wisconsin and across much of the United States ground to a halt as a dangerous new virus arrived in communities across the nation. A flurry of shutdowns raced to keep up with the spread of COVID-19 and the growing realization of its looming human impact.

School buildings in Wisconsin closed indefinitely as teachers scrambled to move classroom instruction online. Concerts and sporting events were canceled or postponed. Church services were suspended and weddings halted. Bars, restaurants, malls and movie theaters went dark. In a matter of days, freeways and buses typically clogged during rush hour were nearly empty as commuters stayed home, some to work remotely and others out of a job.

A population of nearly 6 million largely withdrew from public life to wait out the outbreak of COVID-19 while hunkered down at home.

This new, seemingly sedate world belied a frenzy of activity within Wisconsin’s hospitals and medical clinics. That’s because as fast as the shutdown seemed, the fear spurring it is that the novel coronavirus is moving faster, perhaps much faster. And Wisconsin will have trouble catching up. So as workers and school children abandoned routines, anxious doctors and nurses, respiratory therapists and lab technicians rushed to prepare for an onslaught of seriously ill and highly contagious patients. Read more …