Tag: coronavirus

SARS COV-2 Visualizations

I see charts of the cumulative number of infections (‘the curve’) and the number of tests administered … but comparing the daily number of tests to the cumulative number of infections is not particularly meaningful beyond seeing that the increase in infections is still rather exponential.

A better visualization compares the cumulative tests to the cumulative infections (or, for less staggering numbers, the daily tests administered and the daily number of new infections identified). No, it doesn’t appear that ‘the curve’ is flattening. I’m curious to see, however, the impact of multiple states going into lock-down has in a week or two.

Looking at a number of infections, especially compared across the globe, provides a bit of a distorted view. Comparing countries by the percent of the population that’s been identified as infected instead of the raw number of identified infections avoids the appearance that small countries are less impacted (and that highly populated countries are disproportionately impacted).


Reading this, I cannot help but think the response to this pandemic is playing out according to a fundamental tenant of Republican philosophy. Push power down closer to ‘the people’. Each school district, city/township, county, and state gets to decide how to respond to this virus. In other words, it’s a feature not a bug.
Personally, I think it’s important to have a strong federal government to coordinate things that impact everyone — environmental regulations, educational concerns, energy efficiency, public health. I hope people who push for decentralized government think about how chaotic our response is and extrapolate to how their preferred form of governance can react to other important situations, whatever those may be.

SARS CoV-2 Data

Visualization from Johns Hopkins Uni Center for Systems Science and Engineering: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

Testing Stats: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing-in-us.html

Interesting combination of data — there have been 13,624 tests (although the data points for the past few days is currently incomplete) and 1,663 infections. That means like 87% of the people who have been tested weren’t infected. Which could be that they’ve been tested before they are infected enough, or it could be that there are a LOT of uninfected people getting tested. Since the actual number of tests is going to be higher, the percent actually infected is lower.