Covid19 - how to flatten your own own personal curve.

Updated: Jun 2

Our lives are not a straight line every increasing in happiness, success, or any other material or spiritual measure. Nor is the arc of life unimodal; we do not hit our single peak and then begin a perennial stage of decline. Life is full of ups and downs.



By now, we are familiar with the need to “flatten the curve”. But there is another statistical curve to measure yourself. Let’s call this curve the “arc of life.” Where are you on a personal life curve?


A picture is still worth a thousand words. So thankfully, epidemiologist has made it very simple for everyone to understand that the longer it takes for coronavirus to spread into the population, the more time hospitals gain to prepare. The gentler curve results in fewer people infected at this critical moment in time — preventing a surge that would inundate the healthcare system and ultimately, one hopes, resulting in fewer deaths.


“This is not a permanent state. This is a moment in time, and we will meet at this moment.”
-Governor, Gavin Newsome

The arc of life is bi-modal. It has both ups and downs. In my youth, I probably believed the arc of life was a 45-degree line, always rising at a steady pace as I got older, smarter, stronger, wealthier, and more successful. Then as a young adult, I looked at older folks either ready to retire or retired. They were preparing or already enjoy their “senior years” or perhaps in a state of decline. This arc of life would resemble the classic bell curve we all studied in statistics. 


Our lives are not a straight line every increasing in happiness, success, or any other material or spiritual measure. Nor is the arc of life unimodal; we do not hit our single peak and then begin a perennial stage of decline. Life is full of ups and downs.


As we all have, I have faced many serious, life-changing challenges and obstacles; from the expected death of parents, tragic and fatal accidents of loved ones, to the sight of strangers jumping from windows of the twin towers on 9-11. From divorce and business failures to the youthful and innocent disappointments of losing a big ballgame or simply not even cracking the starting lineup.


The reality is that our lives are bi-modal. I have risen to each challenge and come out better, stronger and happier than the time before. For each peak, there is a valley. For each valley, there is a peak. 

Where am I right now? It is simply a state of transition. It is these transitional states that define us. In our lives, we all go through highs and lows. It is how we deal with this moment and look to the future that will impact the bi-modal arc of our life.


My best advice is to use all this down-time and solitude to look ahead. We need to react to the moment and do the right things to survive. Now is the best time to think of the future you want to have. Start defining it, planning for it and taking steps to make it happen. There will be another peak for most of us. 

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