The news is either horrible, overly sunny, or biased opinion these days and that’s how it goes. Nothing else in between catches people’s attention. Scattered local health department briefings that have been going on for months bring the same daily news, usually missing a piece or two of useful information.
And there’s always something such as a reporting slowdown on one day followed by the biggest daily increase in the pandemic history, which is causing disbelief in the system, in the reporting, anything.
I’ve been putting out Nashville specific coverage of the virus spread, death rates, etc since Feb. Trying to help out local reporting and govt so they don’t scare people, or lull them a false sense of security on a day when we’ve gone from 180 cases to 20 (that’s going to be a processing delay,) or days when TN is reporting 0 new cases to your Covid tracking site (no, that’s going to be something wrong with your tracking site.)
So, here are the sites I use and some things I’ve learned:
Worldometers is one of the best sites out there for getting an overview of the planet and your country. It allows you to sort countries and states by cases, deaths, active, cases per million population, deaths per million, tests, tests per million, etc.
In the US view you can easily see how well your state is doing compared to the rest and there are extremely useful charting functions for seeing how things are going over 3 days and 7 day periods.
So when you hear something like that June 9th had a 270% increase in deaths over June 7th, or that June 9th was the third straight day of daily deaths doubling, you can look at see that yup, that’s true, but that’s how the reporting cycle works. Never a lot of deaths reported on Sunday and Monday since this began.
Worldometers also has some useful once a month breakdowns on death rates by age and sex from NY data published around the 15th.
Coronavirus.app / Coronalytics
Coronavirus.app and Coronalytics for a hot second were two sites, but are now one and the alternate site can be accessed via the top left hamburger menu.
Any reporting agency in the world can be looked at. You can break down cases and deaths per day and see some charts, although they lack the 3 & 7 day trend lines that Worldometers have so you’ll have to break them down yourself.
Over on the Coronalytics site you can easily compare your state to other states (or countries,) in terms of how well you’re doing based on time from first infection, current day, death rates, cases.
Notably missing is death rate per million to adjust for population. Buy them a coffee, ask them to add that.
Unified command dashboard
Your state should have a unified command dashboard provided by the health department. I’ve found these in a few states, and a couple of them they’ve called it something else. You will need to look but they all do about the same and seem to be hosted on arcgis.com
This will get you county level information, and most also have a hospital bed tracker so you can see what percentage of cases are hospitalized, and what percentage of hospitalized are serious (they’ll be in the ICU.)
Each city / metro area may have their own announcements and such. For Nashville, mayor Cooper announces daily via video, website, Facebook, Metro News Network, etc. Other towns have similar, and the unifying theme is there’s always some piece of data missing that drives commentators to madness.
You’ll need to locate the local level for your town. These are extremely useful to follow for when unreleased White House reports come out saying your city is a hotbed of infection and it’s not. Sort of like when Nashville got named… they had combined the mid-state area and called it Nashville on the report.
Want to see what a machine thinks? The Covid-19 Projections site uses machine learning to guess where things are going.
Health department data will additionally get you some useful information on who is most at risk, transmissability, how to not get sick, etc.
And since there’s always someone who wants to comment on that the WHO & CDC said not to wear masks, here’re some links you can throw at them they won’t read:
No, the WHO did not say you couldn’t catch it from an asymptomatic person
Yes, the WHO is recommending cloth face masks. The entire “they’re not recommending masks” had to do with ensuring PPE supply to doctors and no studies on transmisability of the virus from touching having been completed.
Yes, the CDC recommends face masks for everyone.
When your grandma posts on Facebook the neurologist on youtube who says you’ll get a toxic CO2 buildup, there’ll be a little link under her post telling you that’s completely false.
Should also be noted that none of those links are going to do anything for most of the internet at large commentator crowd as they’re going to sealion you and post 35 minute long rebuttal videos that have been proven completely wrong time and again, but it’s kind of important to respond to false information not for the person who’s posting it, but for the bystanders who are reading it.