In the grip of a global pandemic, and with a vaccine in perhaps a year or more, getting information is more important than ever. The best weapon against COVID-19 is information. And in order to know how to deal with it both for a group of people and in order to change our behavior.
The good news is that we live in the data age, so there are many coronavirus dashboards to help you. These are four of the best examples to help you understand what’s going on and how you should plan your movements.
It seems that no matter what disaster we face, there will always be people who will try to cash in on it somehow. Unfortunately, hackers and malware creators have created compelling coronavirus dashboard sites that actually steal your data or infect your computer with malware. Always double check the address and make sure you are using a legitimate site.
Let’s start with the coronavirus dashboard, from which many other sites probably get their information. So why not get it straight from the horse’s mouth?
The World Health Organization is the central agency helping governments coordinate and strategize against the COVID-19 pandemic. Their website is minimalistic, contains all the most important information right from the start, and you can easily narrow down the list to whatever region of the world you want to see by simply clicking on it.
The WHO has also included a mode that shows only COVID deaths by region, and a bubble map mode that immediately shows the relative magnitude of cases by country. If you scroll down on the main map, you’ll see a well thought out breakdown of data to help you understand what’s happening on the global stage.
If you enter the search term “coronavirus”, you will be taken directly to the Google overview page. It brings together all the information Google can find in one place.
Google’s service is a little complicated and it might be a little confusing for a second, but once you understand what Google is trying to do, it all makes perfect sense. The Overview tab provides you with important latest pandemic-related news, but the actual map is on the right side of the page in its own little square. If you click on View Entire Map, you will be taken to a dedicated map page, starting at the location that Google determines for you.
This is clearly built on top of the existing Google Maps framework, so if you are used to using this system, this map already looks pretty familiar to you. The map is incredibly easy to read and provides data by state or province, depending on the country and the data in question.
Returning to the first page and selecting the Statistics section will also give you a simple breakdown of infection trends over time. Google also pulls data from several different sources, so it’s worth comparing its numbers with other sources when in doubt. Google has also put symptom, treatment, and prevention information right at your fingertips. It’s a great control panel to share with your friends and family.
Not to be outdone by Google, Microsoft Bing also offers a COVID-19 tracker. To be honest, this is much better in terms of design and interface. Unlike Google’s proposal, this site has been designed as a whole.
Of course, appearance doesn’t really matter if the data is bad, and perhaps Bing isn’t as efficient at conveying statistics as Google did in the beginning. However, once you know what you’re looking at, things get pretty simple.
In particular, the map summary pop-up is a nice touch showing a short breakdown of the large numbers associated with each region. Bing Map uses a bubble format to show the number of sightings in each region, which is fine unless you interpret the circles as geographic distribution.
Like Google, Bing uses multiple data sources and hopefully gives a more accurate overall picture than sites that rely on only one source. Another interesting thing that Microsoft has done is provide a bot of FAQs about COVID-19 that can answer a wide range of questions related to the disease. While Bing may not be the leader in the quality of search engine results, in this case they beat Google slightly.
Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 dashboard
Johns Hopkins Medical University is arguably the most famous medical institution in the world, and it took them no time at all to develop and make available a sophisticated coronavirus dashboard in the form of a COVID-19 map.
From a visual point of view, it looks like it would be appropriate in a Hollywood war thriller, but if you get past the depressing color scheme, you’ll find one of the best pandemic maps available.
What we really liked was the ranked list of cases by country on the left side of the map. It immediately shows you which countries should be at the top of the list when it comes to travel.
On the other hand, only the US gets more detailed terrain data through a dedicated map. As such, this coronavirus dashboard will be most useful for US residents or anyone looking for data on the US pandemic. If you are based in the United States, the information contained on the Johns Hopkins Map is invaluable and we recommend bookmarking this site as your first stop when wondering what’s going on in your country.
Stick to the basics!
It’s great that in a time of crisis like this, so much information is available to us. However, whatever the current statistics say, it shouldn’t make any difference to the basic steps that everyone must take to limit the impact of COVID-19:
- Stay at least six feet away from other people.
- Wash your hands often with soap for 20 seconds or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Always wear sheet masks in public to prevent asymptomatic spread.
- Disinfect surfaces such as doorknobs regularly.
There is currently no vaccine or approved drugs to treat severe cases of COVID-19. Therefore, your best defense is to prevent infection in the first place. COVID-19 spreads through droplets containing the virus and usually gets through the eyes, nose and mouth.
Check only with government health officials and organizations such as the World Health Organization Do not share false or unsubstantiated claims about COVID-19 on social media or in private messages.
If we can all change our collective behavior, this pandemic can be defeated. Stay Safe!