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Originally published as "We Crushed the Curve, the Far-Right Took This as a Recruitment Tool," Medium, May 16, 2020.
As the novel coronavirus spread first in Wuhan in January, then in Iran and Italy, the outbreak overwhelmed healthcare systems. The exponential spread of the virus meant that by the time it was discovered in the population it had already taken such a hold that hospitals were filling with COVID patients.
In March, widespread stay-at-home orders were implemented in the United States to flatten the curve of the pandemic. And they worked. With the exception of a few epicenters, the spread of the virus was indeed successfully flattened, and hospital capacity was largely not reached. A significant number of deaths were avoided. Yet this success created a new problem: many now believe that the virus was never an issue in the first place.