Some Useful COVID-19 Resources

Like a lot of people, I’ve been closely tracking the COVID-19 pandemic. There are a lot of useful resources for keeping track of what’s happening with COVID-19, but there’s also a lot of misinformation. I wanted to put together a collection of the things that I’ve found to be useful, and more importantly accurate.

This is mostly for my own benefit, but I thought other people might find it useful as well. If you’re aware of something that belongs on the list, tell me about it on Twitter or email me (my Twitter username @ Google’s email service).

News and miscellany

» Spirits Distilleries Around the US Now Producing Hand Sanitizer New

This is nice to see.

» State of Illinois Stay-At-Home FAQs New

The state issued a shelter in place order today in an effort to contain the outbreak. There’s confusion about what exactly that entails, and this helps answer some of the questions.

What it is and why it’s serious

» CDC - COVID-19 Site

The CDC’s website has the most up to date information on COVID-19

» Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now

I think this was the first article I saw that made it clear how serious this was. It’s thorough and well-written.

» Bloomington-Normal COVID-19 Information

This is mostly of use to those who live near me. It’s a good collection of community resources, in particular this page with a list of restaurants that are delivering food.

» Internet Book of Critical Care - COVID-19

This is a deep dive into the illness itself, and the diagnosis and treatment of it. If you want all of the gory details, this is the place to go.

» Illinois Department of Public Health COVID-19 Information

The State of Illinois has a site with the latest news and guidance for a variety of businesses on how to prevent the spread. If you live elsewhere, your state probably has something similar.

» What We Know So Far About SARS-CoV-2 - The Atlantic New

Great piece by The Atlantic.

» The Sober Math Everyone Must Understand about the Pandemic New

I can’t add much to this that the title doesn’t already tell you. I’ll point out this bit though, which I’ve been saying for weeks:

Yes, the virus only kills a small percentage of those afflicted. Yes, the flu kills 10s of thousands of people annually. Yes, 80% of people will experience lightweight symptoms with COVID19. Yes the mortality rate of COVID19 is relatively low (1–2%). All of this true, but is immaterial. They are the wrong numbers to focus on…

» The Doctor Who Helped Defeat Smallpox Explains What’s Coming New

In situations like this, the people to pay attention to are the professionals. Doctors, scientists, infectious disease specialists. Larry Brilliant is a professional.

If you’re not worried, you’re not paying attention.

Facts and figures, with pretty pictures

There are a handful of sites that are tracking the spread of the disease and helpfully display it in chart, graph, and map form.

» Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center

This is a good visualization of the current state of things. Johns Hopkins has been tracking this disease for quite a while, and has made the data available to other organizations. I look at this regularly just to keep a pulse on things. If you’re into the nerdery behind this, the doctor who made this has put up a great behind-the-scenes look.

» Khan Academy COVID-19 Data

This is a good explanation of the data that we have about the spread of this disease, and what it means. I really like this.

» Epidemic Data for COVID-19

Mantained by Wolfram Research, this is based on the data from Johns Hopkins, but presented slightly differently and with more ways to view the data. If you are a Wolfram user, you can create a copy of the notebook and explore the data yourself.

» COVID-19 Infographic

A very readable infographic that shows the impact of the disease, how it affects people, and how it compares to other diseases.

» Corona Virus Simulator

An excellent visual to show why social distancing is important.

» Predicting Coronavirus Cases New

I don’t actually understand all the math in this, but it was interesting nonetheless.

» Coronavirus tracked: the latest figures as the pandemic spreads New

Financial Times has some great coverage of the pandemic, with visualizations that illustrate how this is unfolding. The link above is probably paywalled, but you can get to it from the Twitter account of their data visualization journalist

Separating fact from fiction

There are a number of crazy rumors and conspiracy theories floating around, none of which are true.

» Social media conspiracies blame coronavirus on 5G internet

This was one of the first rumors to come out, and one of the most persistent. It’s also complete nonsense.

» Social media conspiracies

Some of the same information in the previous one, but with some additional detail.

» COVID-19 wasn’t produced in a lab

This is another persistent conspiracy theory, and also not true. See also: Coronavirus is not a bioweapon created in a lab, scientists say

» Younger Adults Comprise Big Portion of Coronavirus Hospitalizations in U.S.

Original reports were that this was largely a disease the affected the elderly and those with underlying conditions. While they make up the majority of deaths, many younger people end up sick enough to need intensive care. There are also reports of some people who recover but have a 20-30% reduction in lung capacity. It may or may not be permanent. The point is, recovering from the illness doesn’t mean you escape unscathed.

Things you can do to help

» Stay home, if at all possible

Social distancing is the only way to curb the spread and flatten the curve.

» Donate to a food bank: Feeding America

There are likely places near you that are helping to feed families in need, just ask around. Additionally with many schools shut down, there are lots of kids who may have been eating at school and now don’t have enough to eat. Many areas have programs that are helping provide meals for these kids. You can donate money or time.

» Give blood: Red Cross

There’s a severe shortage of blood right now. Give if you’re able.

» Fostering a Pet During Coronavirus Pandemic

This is a great idea, especially for those that live alone. There are lots of dogs that need a home, and even if you can’t give them a permanent home, you can get them out of the shelter and enjoy the company of a furry friend.