What do the COVID-19 Maps Mean for You?
According to John Hopkins, as of March 18th, 9:00am EST, there are a total of 204,029 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the globe. In the last few weeks, the John Hopkins’ Coronavirus Resource Center Map has become the go-to source for millions of Americans looking for answers regarding the spread of the COVID-19 virus. While this map is an amazing resource for updates on the current number of individuals diagnosed with the virus, what is it really telling us about the impact of the disease on American’s?
At a high level, you are able to see that the virus is widespread, leaving few areas of the map untouched by the large red clusters of the disease. Utilizing the interactive capabilities of the map and other similar resources you are able to drill down to your state to identify the number of confirmed cases, active cases, deaths, and the number of individuals that have recovered. What I often think about is -- but what does that mean for me? Is COVID-19 prevalent in my immediate neighborhood or is it impacting an area where my family lives? If so, to what extent? My question is, how do I take this information and make proactive decisions to better protect myself and those that I care about?
When you look at the map, how are you using the information? Are you making a decision to stay home or that it’s business as usual based on the data? Does the data help set you at ease or generate additional cause for concern and panic? Neither answer is necessarily correct, but as lines at the grocery store continue to grow and the national supply of toilet paper dwindles I cannot help but wonder if we are effectively communicating how to read the information we are seeing.
So, how are you using the data to make business and personal decisions?
Emily Nuñez Hunt, a Principal Consultant at Bent Ear Solutions. She has spent her career working to turn data overload into actionable information.