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Hackernoon logoCOVID-19 “Build Your Own Opinion”​ Toolkit by@federico

COVID-19 “Build Your Own Opinion”​ Toolkit

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@federicoFederico Cesconi

“Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance.” — Hippocrates

Since the beginning of this surreal period I have only been worried about one thing — not keeping myself alive by avoiding being infected by the coronavirus — but seriously documenting myself to try to have a precise opinion of what this pandemic is and what we should do now and in the medium term to be able to manage it. In this article, I want to share with you the 17 most important resources that have helped me in this difficult moment to create my own opinion about the situation itself, and how to get out of it. I do not allow myself to influence your opinion and, presenting the sources, I only tell you the question that I asked myself to then track down that source.

You are free to use it as you see fit. I have tried to filter sources only from authoritative authors and supported by the scientific community. The sources are not in order of importance, I list them as I can think of.

1. How many people have been affected by the coronavirus, and what is the current situation?

The main source, as for everyone, is the GIS Dashboard at Johns Hopkins University. You can find it here: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html what is important is to understand these numbers. You can find the explanation in the caption below the world map and it tells you the following:

Confirmed cases include presumptive positive cases.

Recovered cases outside China are estimates based on local media reports and may be substantially lower than the true number.

Active cases = total confirmed — total recovered — total deaths.

Make sure you understand the definition of numbers. To read the dashboard, it is important to understand what those numbers are created from (real facts).

Living in Switzerland, I also use this dashboard: https://corona-data.ch

2. When did we get the first death from Corona Virus?

You can find this in this article in the South China Morning Post: https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3074991/coronavirus-chinas-first-confirmed-covid-19-case-traced-back

The answer is on the 17th of November 2019.

3. What scenarios can be developed now and in the future with the Corona Virus? What can we expect?

Here you have to be careful to have very credible sources. This is a very difficult question to answer. I found this study at Imperial College London. It contains a lot of very important information and mathematical models: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-COVID19-Europe-estimates-and-NPI-impact-30-03-2020.pdf

4. Considering that the Johns Hopkins University dashboard contains a biased number of positive patients, how do we estimate the number of tests in the world?

It wasn’t easy to find reliable sources here. This link from the University of Oxford project is perhaps the most valid one: https://ourworldindata.org/covid-testing

5. How long will the pandemic last?

According to a U.S. Government document, it will last 18 months, the time to find a vaccine: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/17/us/politics/trump-coronavirus-plan.html

6. In the case of South Korea, why are they successful in containing the virus?

https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-south-koreas-success-in-controlling-disease-is-due-to-its-acceptance-of-surveillance-134068

7. How much is the Corona Virus mortality rate?

According to The New England Journal of Medicine is 1,4%: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2002032

8. What influence will the virus containment measures have on its spread?

For this answer, I recommend this study by The Lancet: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30567-5/fulltext

9. How much does a Corona Virus test cost?

This was one of the pieces of information that took the longest to find. The problem is that there is a lot of fake news on this topic. At first, there was talk of a cost between $1,000 and $3,000. In the end, the cost is EU 1.62 per each test. I was surprised by how many journalists don’t document themselves when they write articles. (!) You can find the information here: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/24/asia/testing-coronavirus-science-intl-hnk/index.html

10. Why does the Corona Virus exist and what will our life be like in the future with these viruses?

That’s the most difficult question I’ve asked myself. There is no answer But I found an interesting video of Alanna Shaikh: https://youtu.be/Fqw-9yMV0sI

11. What immunity testing is and how Switzerland will roll it out?

Immunity testing is important to restart a “normal” life: https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/gauging-the-crisis_covid-19-immunity-testing-to-begin-in-some-swiss-hospitals/45653466

12. Is there a chance of relapse to covid19?

This has not been demonstrated yet. There is a specific study on Annals of Internal Medicine of the presence of the virus in sputum and faces despite a negative test. https://annals.org/aim/fullarticle/2764036/sars-cov-2-positive-sputum-feces-after-conversion-pharyngeal-samples

13. Can an “aggressive testing” strategy help containing the epidemic?

https://www.government.is/diplomatic-missions/embassy-article/2020/03/15/Large-scale-testing-of-general-population-in-Iceland-underway/https://www.ft.com/content/0dba7ea8-6713-11ea-800d-da70cff6e4d3

14. Have I already had coronavirus?

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/01/covid19-coronavirus-have-i-already-had-it

15. When can we expect coronavirus to end?

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/coronavirus-when-will-it-end-date-outbreak-stop-a9414196.html

16. How many critical beds do we have in Europe?

https://www.covid-19.no/critical-care-bed-numbers-in-europe

17. Why is Germany’s coronavirus death rate so low?

https://time.com/5812555/germany-coronavirus-deaths/

These are probably the 17 most useful resources I found in my research on Coronavirus. Do you have any interesting authoritative links? Add the link in the comments, I’m curious to see other useful sources for everyone!

Previously published at https://medium.com/@federicocesconi/covid-19-build-your-own-opinion-toolkit-7262a45135be

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