Mar 152020

(updated Mar 30 15:58 ET)

It’s a challenge even for me, as someone deep in the healthcare world, to wrap my head around what is happening and how to think about the COVID-19 pandemic. Where is it? How bad is it? What are the symptoms? Is it getting better? How are we responding (or not)? Who should I trust?

I’ve therefore collected some resources here that I’ve found helpful.

Contents: The Daily Update | Overviews | Interventions | Updates | Bay Area | DC/DMV | Biology

The Daily Update

I browse to these sites once a day to get a clear, data-driven, and hype-free update:


I would be remiss if I didn’t first note the WHO’s official page on COVID-19, as well as the (US) CDC’s, and the federal response. If you are traveling, the DHS updates are probably relevant.

Thorough lay overview: Max Roser’s team’s overview of the COVID-19 is the best lay overview I’ve found.

Medical/Bio overview: This March 13 briefing from the Lin Lab (Stanford Neurobiology) is an incredibly thorough, but still concise, survey of COVID-19, aimed at people with at least a basic biology/genetics/medicine background. Even if you do not have that background, it’s still worth reading if you are willing to do do some Googling of terms and Wikipedia digging. If you’re biologically inclined though, and you can only read one thing from this page in detail, this deck would be it.

Clinical presentation of COVID-19: A quick graphical overview of the clinical side of COVID-19.

Understanding exponential growth: These two 3Blue1Brown videos give a basic intuition for why exponential growth is terrifying. Once you have a good sense for exponential growth, see these charts from the Financial Times to understand why bringing down the growth rate is important.

Summary and line listing of all US/Canada cases: And this is the best summary of US/Canada cases I’ve found, with a line list of every single case, with reference:

The classic Johns Hopkins dashboard (and data): And this is the (by now quite well-known) map and summary of cases around the world from Johns Hopkins. For those of us that are data analysis-inclined, the raw data can be found on their Github:


More lag-aligned Stats: This page from Algebris succinctly presents the growth of the number of cases in Italy and Wuhan, and plots the progression of cases for other select nations (including the US) aligning by the lag in number of days behind Italy, and normalizing for population. The clear bad news is that all western countries are pretty closely tracking Italy at the moment. ThisOurWorldInData chart shows why public health interventions are effective.

Hospital Capacity Dangers: When will your hospitals run out of room and fatalities likely increase? It’s unfortunately likely not a question of “if” anymore. This interactive ProPublica article does a great job of letting you see different scenarios across any city across the US.

Social distancing simulation: This page from the Washington Post cleverly and graphically simulates what can happen with different levels of social distancing. (h/t Ajay Sudan)

More advanced simulation: And if you want to do a more advanced simulation with all the knobs, this is a great epidemic simulator:

Hospital and ICU capacity: Irrational fear isn’t helpful, but if you made it this far, this paper will help you understand why the current population-wide measures are necessary. To put it more simply, in Wuhan, at its peak, even with Chinese draconian measures, “2,087 patients (2.6 per 10,000 adults) needed critical care per day.” The entire US ICU capacity is only 1.4 per 10,000. Unless we are able to fill that gap, or ensure we don’t go over 1.4, those patients are likely to die.

Hope: This editorial from a large number of American illustrious healthcare leaders is super practical and is a glimmer of hope.

Live Updates

WSJ Live Updates: The Wall Street Journal has lowered the paywall for the Coronavirus live coverage page.

Curated Twitter lists: I’ve created a Twitter list of those I trust with the latest news. Daniel Swain (of the Weather West blog) also has a Twitter list, with a slightly more scientific bent.

Bay Area-specific Information

All of California is now under a shelter in place order, unless you are in communications, healthcare/public health, chemical, critical manufacturing, commercial facilities, dams, defense industrial base, dmergency services, energy, financial, government facilities, food & agriculture, critical IT, Nuclear Reactors, Transportation, or Water, in which case you should see this CISA Critical Infrastructure page for more information.

Overall, the California order is really confusing, so I’d recommend reading the county-by-county FAQs I posted below, especially the Shelter-in-Place FAQ of San Mateo County.

The Bay Area is under a Shelter in Place order. (h/t Mackenzie Bohannon)

Summary: NBC Bay Area has a great summary page of Bay Area COVID-19-related news, including a listing of cases.

CA State: The California Department of Public Health’s page on COVID-19 is here. Everyone in California should probably read this page.

Your county: For Bay Area counties, here are the county-specific pages. Most are in line with the state, but a few counties have issued orders above and beyond the state-wide orders:

DMV-specific Information

The DMV area has piecemeal response, from DC’s mass gathering >50 ban and closure of restaurants and bars, to Virginia’s state-wide ban on groups >10 to

Case summaries: A listing of every DMV area case, collated by Alejandro Alvarez of WTOP.

Your county: For each individual district/county/city:

For Bio Folks and Wonks

Healthcare policy effects: The Kaiser Family Foundation’s ongoing stream on COVID-19, with their usual focus on healthcare policy and payments policy:

Deeper medical/bio overview: This 1.5hr video of the March 20 UCSF Grand Rounds goes quite deep into the background, epidemiology, clinical presentation, public health interventions, and relevant drug targets and efforts under way. Best medical overview out there. This 1.5hr video of the March 12 Partners/MGH Grand Rounds

Test sensitivity & specificity: Data on the sensitivity/specificity of what I believe are the current tests, though it’s challenging to know. I will do more research on this.

South Korean Test: The protocol for the South Korean test is in this paper.

Conserved regions in SARS-CoV-2 genome: A Mar 13 paper on variation analysis performed on the SARS-CoV-2 genome, in the hopes of establishing a better reference sequence, and by corollary, of being able to design primers and probes with greater sensitivity when used in sequence-based tests.

Effective Drugs?: Another Mar 13 paper proposing potential effective drugs including remdesivir and a host of common HIV antiretrovirals, as well as interferon-beta.

Avoid drugs upregulating ACE2: Drugs that upregulate ACE2 (including ibuprofen) may contribute to the virulence of this coronavirus, per this paper in the Lancet.

Undetected cases: A model predicting that 86% of cases were undetected in Wuhan before travel restrictions were implemented and wide testing began. I have some disagreements with some assumptions in this model, but it’s still well-done paper, and, again, means we should get widespread testing ASAP. This video I posted earlier (at 9:45) suggests we have 50x more than reported.

Krammer’s ELISA test: The paper detailing the first validated serological test for SARS-CoV-2.

If you live in UK and know how to run qPCR: And if you are in the UK and can run qPCR, please see this request for help.

  2 Responses to “COVID-19 Resources”

  1. Lekan, This is very helpful.

  2. It’s very handy to using the links you provided for checking info. thanks!

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.