In the grip of a global pandemic and with a vaccine perhaps a year or more away, being informed has never been more important. The best weapon against COVID-19 is information. And in order to know how to deal with it as a collective of people, and when it comes to changing our behavior.
The good news is that we live in an age of data, so there are many coronavirus dashboards to help you. These are the four best examples to help you understand what’s going on and how you should plan your moves.
It seems that no matter what trouble we face, there will always be people trying to make a living out of it. Unfortunately, hackers and malware developers have started creating convincing coronavirus control panel sites that actually steal your data or infect your computer with malware. Always check the address and make sure you are using a legitimate site.
Let’s start with the coronavirus dashboard, where many other sites probably get their information from. So why not get it straight from the horse’s mouth?
The World Health Organization is the central agency helping governments coordinate and develop strategies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Their site is minimalist, with all the most important information right from the start, and you can easily narrow down the list to any region of the world you want to see just by clicking on it.
WHO has also included a mode that shows only COVID deaths by region, and a bubble map mode that instantly shows the relative scale of cases by country. If you scroll down the main map, you’ll see well-thought-out data to help you understand what’s happening on the global stage.
If you search for “coronavirus,” you’ll be taken straight to Google’s own review page. It brings together all relevant information that Google can find in one place.
Google service is a bit confusing and it can be a bit confusing for a second, but once you understand what Google is trying to do, everything becomes perfect. “Review” tab, you will find important emergency news related to the pandemic, but the actual map is located on the right side of the page in a separate small window. If you press “View full map” will take you to a special map page starting from the location that Google determines for you.
It’s clearly built on top of the existing Google Maps, so if you’re used to using that system, this map will already look pretty familiar to you. The map is incredibly easy to read and provides data by state or province, depending on the country and data in question.
Returning to the first page, select “Statistics”, also provides a simple analysis of infection trends over time. Google also pulls data from several different sources, so it’s worth checking your numbers against other sources if you’re in doubt. Google also puts information about symptoms, treatment and prevention right at your fingertips. This is a great dashboard to share with friends and family.
Not to be outdone by Google, Microsoft’s Bing also offers a COVID-19 tracker. To be honest, it’s much better in terms of design and interface. Unlike Google’s offering, it looks like a site designed as a single unit.
Of course, looks don’t matter much if the data is bad, and maybe Bing isn’t reporting statistics as efficiently as Google originally thought. However, once you know what you’re looking at, it’s pretty easy.
Particularly nice is the pop-up summary on the map, which shows a concise breakdown of the big numbers associated with each region. Bing Map uses a bubble format to show the number of cases in each region, which is fine if you don’t interpret the circles as geographic distribution.
Like Google, Bing uses multiple sources of data and hopefully provides a more accurate overall picture than sites that rely on just one source. Another great thing Microsoft has done is create a COVID-19 FAQ bot that can answer a wide range of questions related to the disease. While Bing may not be at the top when it comes to the quality of search engine results, in this case they slightly beat Google.
Johns Hopkins University of Medicine is perhaps the most famous medical institution in the world, and it took them no time to develop and make available a sophisticated coronavirus dashboard in the form of a COVID-19 map.
Visually, it looks like something out of a Hollywood war thriller, but if you can get past the depressing color scheme, you’ll find one of the best pandemic maps available.
One thing we really liked was the ranked list of things to do by country on the left side of the map. This immediately shows you which countries should be at the top of your list when it comes to travel.
On the other hand, only the US gets more detailed data about the territory using a special map. So, this coronavirus dashboard will be most useful for US residents or those looking for data on the US pandemic. If you live in the US, the information provided by the Johns Hopkins Map is invaluable, so we recommend bookmarking this site as your first port of call when you’re wondering what’s going on in your country.
Stick to the basics!
It’s great that we have so much information in this time of crisis. However, regardless of what the current statistics say, it is irrelevant to the basic steps that everyone should take to limit the effects of COVID-19:
- Stay at least six feet away from other people
- Wash your hands frequently with soap for 20 seconds or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Wear cloth masks at all times in public to curb asymptomatic spread
- Disinfect surfaces such as doorknobs regularly
There is currently no vaccine or approved medication to treat severe cases of COVID-19. So your best defense is to prevent infection in the first place. COVID-19 is spread through droplets containing the virus and is usually entered through the eyes, nose, and mouth.
Take advice only from your 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 overcome. Stay safe!