This was posted by NJ Governor Phil Murphy’s staff’s on Instagram. It’s a good illustration. Distancing is essential to keep people from dying from lack of access to hospital care. However, it comes with some baggage.
Without distancing, we need far more hospital beds than are available — and that would be true for the entire country. Rural areas have fewer people, but proportionately few beds, so it would impact people in rural areas at least as hard as urbanites.
The problem isn’t just beds, but includes ventilators and protective equipment. Covid-19 attacks the lungs, and oxygen deprivation can bring on brain and organ damage that is permanent and can be fatal. People with severe cases need help getting oxygen, and that’s what ventilators do and why they are so critical with this disease.
With distancing, the peak is much lower and to some extent more manageable.
However, with distancing, it takes a bit longer to reach the peak — late May or June rather than April. Those areas starting later (rural areas) will peak even later. That may extend the require time for the national shutdown. Easter was “aspirational” (as in a nice dream, like winning the lottery) and April 30th may be as well. The Virginia governor’s June 10th date may be far more reasonable.