Unsung Heroes: The International Team Mapping the Real-Time Spread of COVID-19: How to Take Action
Something unprecedented is happening. No I'm not talking about the coronavirus. I'm talking about the real time global data being shared around the world. A lesson that in these unprecedented times, humanity is finding a way to activate at a level of connection and coordination we may have never seen before.
There is a clear idea forming: That each of us have the power to take action in our own ways.
None of us are victims. We are survivors.
So while we remain apart physically, we may have never been more connected in effort and service towards a united goal.
How Data Will Save Lives
As the spread of COVID-19 continues exponentially across many areas of the world, a team of unsung heroes is collecting, coordinating, and publishing real time data to help us understand where the virus is spreading, and how we can stop it.
Samuel Scarpino, Assistant Professor of the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University, explains that once they learned there was a cluster of unexplained illness in China, a number of people began entering in individual level data in January.
They didn't know this was about to become a pandemic. But they knew they needed to collect the data.
Data available to us daily, in real time, via sites like https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html where all of us, regardless of rank or position, government worker, pizza delivery guy or not, all have the ability to view the confirmed cases by city, country or region.
"Think of it like Wikipedia, but an open database curated by volunteers that instead tracks and maps the real-time spread of COVID-19 around the world." - VICE News
This indispensable information is teaching us not just about the virus, but the unintentional human behaviour that's spreading it, and the best way to stop it.
What the data shows is social distancing works.
As does travel lock downs. And closing borders.
This may not feel or sound much like a connected world with such measures. But in many ways we've never been more connected by a global cause.
We've never seen so many take action. With everyone doing their part, and for the majority, for the vast millions around the globe, that simply means staying at home.
The USA has surpassed Italy for fasting growing spread of COVID-19.
Restricting regional air travel in the USA and mandating strict stay at home rules will slow the spread of the virus.
Other measures like increased testing and hospital patient bed counts are also key, but for now the limited supply of test kits, and hospitals scrambling to find the most basic supplies for their staff, like masks, remain their priority.
As we wait to see how this all unfolds, we know that part of the solution is in the data, and the unsung heroes working around the globe sending it out each day.
Those linked together in a common purpose.
Finding a way to take action.