When Can We Re-Open? Watch the Data.
The big question on everyone’s mind right now is: When can we go back to normal?
The answer to that is elusive as federal, state and local governments work—sometimes not in coordination—to tell us when we can “reopen.” But, practically, even if the government says it is time to open the theaters and hotels and airports, will anyone risk going?
The best ways for business owners to judge all these competing socio-economic and political factors is to look at the medical and health data. The bottom line is that people will only start to feel comfortable when the disease is under some semblance of control.
Fortunately, there are plenty of experts compiling and watching the number of deaths, the increase in new cases, rates of infection, and hospital bed usage numbers, for instance. Some of these sources are more reliable than others. And some are presented in more user-friendly and visual ways.
Four of the best sources of information that we are following include:
World Health Organization: COVID-19 Situation Dashboard
The World Health Organization (WHO) is providing a global overview of the coronavirus pandemic, which is currently impacting more than 200 countries, through its interactive dashboard and map. The site provides up-to-date numbers on cases and deaths of coronavirus.
The WHO has also created an online resource for the general public that provides information on best hygiene practices, detecting COVID-19 related scams, facts about the virus, health tips for workers and other helpful resources.
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation: COVID-19 Projections
Created to assist the University of Washington School of Medicine and other U.S. hospital systems and state governments, IHME’s COVID-19 projections highlight the demand for hospital services throughout each state within the U.S., the U.S. as a whole, or in other affected countries battling the coronavirus. This is a valuable resource as it tells us, for example, that a certain amount of beds or ventilators to treat COVID-19 patients is needed, but there could be a shortage.
Johns Hopkins: COVID-19 Dashboard
Produced by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU), the COVID-19 Dashboard offers a look at total confirmed cases anywhere in the world. One of the most remarkable features on the map is the ability for the user to zoom in to any county to get highly granular data – the total number of cases, as well as deaths caused by COVID-19.
Not only that, the site provides totals for deaths (also broken down by state or country) and the total number of COVID-19 tests conducted within the U.S. (also broken down by state).
UNACAST: Social Distancing Scoreboard
Data company UNACAST created an interactive social distancing scoreboard that grades each state, as well as each state’s county, on how well people are following quarantine guidelines – social distancing and non-essential travel.
For additional information, recommendations or questions, please visit Xenophon’s COVID-19 Crisis Response Team webpage at: https://xenophonstrategies.com/covid-19-response.
Remember to wash your hands frequently, don’t touch your face, and wear gloves and a mask to reduce potential exposure to you and to others.
Getting Back to Work is an ongoing series on health and safety regarding COVID-19 from Xenophon Strategies, in partnership with Dr. David Hamer, a professor at the Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine with more than 30 years of experience in epidemiological diseases. Through the partnership Xenophon is working with Dr. Hamer to provide science-based recommendations and guidance on how employers, employees, and families should best respond to and combat the COVID-19 pandemic.