As data scientists, we (with @math_rachel) have done our best to look at the data around covid-19, and what it means to you and your community.

Our view: it is appropriate to be very concerned, and significantly change your lifestyle, right now.
The impact is already clear. In Italy, 10 days ago, all was fine. Now it's not. 432 medical tents have been set up. 16 million people are on lock-down.

By the time the impact in your community is clearly visible, you've missed your best opportunity.
If you are in a position of authority, you should be doing everything you can to avoid the need for groups of people to get together (provide sick leave; make meetings virtual; cancel events or make them online; etc...)

For everyone else, here's a list of things to do:
Epidemiologists are experts in studying the spread and impact of disease. Their modeling shows that covid-19 is not at all like the flu.

Don't let people who aren't familiar with epidemiology tell you otherwise. Modeling diseases is not intuitive, and needs proper tools.
Fatalism is not the right response. We've already seen that massive and systematic response can turn things around. It's going to require sacrifices, however.
If we can reduce the spread of this disease, then we give our hospitals time to give patients the care they need. (10% of those infected *need* hospital care, including oxygen for weeks.)
Many arm-chair experts are clinging to a belief that somehow logistic growth will magically save us from a pandemic. Unfortunately, that's not how it works.
One of the most common responses on social media to people trying to explain what's really going on is "don't panic".

This patronizing response is neither appropriate or helpful. Don't do it.
It is certainly true that there's a lot we don't know. But that's not a reason for complacency.
If you're under 50 and in good health, that's also not a reason for complacency. Responding to covid-19 is an ethical obligation for us all.
We should also do our best to learn from history. Although the flu of 1918 had different properties to covid-19, we can learn a lot by studying responses to it, and their impacts.
The impact will be greatest on those least equipped to handle it. For instance, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that less than a third of those in the lowest income band have access to paid sick leave.
In the US, we are still in the dark about what's really going on in our communities. We can't assume an absence of positive tests means an absence of infections, because the tests aren't being done.
You can follow @jeremyphoward.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: