The 7 Best COVID-19 Resources We’ve Discovered So Far
With all eyes on the COVID-19 pandemic and how its impact will be felt over the coming weeks and months, people are being bombarded with all kinds of noise and speculation.
Between a deadly virus, looming economic effects, and numerous government shutdowns, it’s clear that a fertile breeding ground has been created for misinformation, rumors, conspiracy theories, hot takes, and other potentially misleading content.
7 Indispensable COVID-19 Resources
At Visual Capitalist, it’s our goal to use data-driven visuals to explain the world around us.
In the last week alone, we’ve had more than 10 million people visit our site — many of them trying to understand more about COVID-19 and its effects on the economy and society.
With that in mind, we thought we’d curate a list of quality information on the virus and its impact. These COVID-19 resources are all from fact-driven, reliable sources, with some of them even being created by our in-house team and shared to our free daily mailing list.
On the below list, we start with the more contextual resources (understanding how the virus works, pandemic history, etc.) and then progress to real-time dashboards and up-to-date data.
Click any image below to see the full resource or dashboard. Many are updated daily or in real-time.
1. How Coronaviruses Work
What is a coronavirus, and how does COVID-19 fit into the mix?
This educational scrolling infographic by SCMP walks you through some of the more familiar types of coronaviruses, how they spread, and how they affect the human body.
It also relates COVID-19 to other coronaviruses that cause diseases such as Mers, Sars, and even the common cold.
2. The History of Pandemics
On March 11th, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
In this infographic, we look at the data to show you the history of pandemics — all the way from the Black Death to how the current COVID-19 situation. It helps give the historical context on how bad a pandemic can be. It’s also updated every day so you can see how COVID-19 compares to the impact of these previous events.
3. Coronavirus Simulator: Limiting the Exponential Spread
Why does the virus spread at an exponential rate, and what techniques can be used to mitigate that spread?
This fantastic interactive page by the Washington Post actively simulates what happens when the virus spreads normally, contrasting it to how it may spread in a forced quarantine environment or when social distancing is practiced.
4. Real-time COVID-19 Map
If you haven’t seen this useful real-time dashboard by Johns Hopkins University yet, it’s worth bookmarking right now.
We check the resource every day, and it has the latest numbers for COVID-19 cases, deaths, recoveries, and more — and it’s all sorted by country and/or state and province. Importantly, it also updates in real-time, so you always know you are getting the latest numbers.
5. Which Countries are “Flattening the Curve”?
Our post on which countries are “flattening the curve” has had over a million views in the last week alone, and it features the above interactive graph from Our World in Data.
Go to the post itself to see a bigger version of the logarithmic chart, which plots the progress of different countries in flattening the curves of COVID-19 infections. The interactive chart updates daily based on the latest numbers, and you can actually search for any country by using the “Search” button. Using the filters on the right side, you can also sort by region as well.
6. Tracking the Coronavirus: The Latest Figures
Even though the Financial Times is a subscription-based website, it recently published this useful COVID-19 dashboard and made it accessible to everyone.
It features various charts and tables on the countries affected, as well as ongoing assessments on the economic damage caused by the virus. Like many of the other COVID-19 resources featured on this list, it is updated on a daily basis.
7. COVID-19 Stats and Research
The above graphic is one of many available on Our World in Data, a fantastic initiative led by economist Max Roser.
Their coronavirus research page has tons of stats, citations, and data for those that want to dive deeper into the situation. It’s also updated very regularly.
Bonus: The Coronavirus Explained, and What You Should Do
While this is less data-driven than the other pieces of content, this animated video by Kurzgesagt still provides a handy explainer on how the virus works.
It’s about eight minutes long, and might help you fill other knowledge gaps.
Please Share These Resources
At a time when misinformation can be dangerous and even deadly, it is worth spreading the above COVID-19 resources to your friends, family, and colleagues.
Many of the above resources are updated daily or they contain evergreen information, meaning they are not going to go out of date any time soon.
Wishing you a safe next few months,
– The Visual Capitalist team
PS: If you have any other great resources to share, please post them in the comments!
Visualizing How COVID-19 Antiviral Pills and Vaccines Work at the Cellular Level
Despite tackling the same disease, vaccines and antiviral pills work differently to combat COVID-19. We visualize how they work in the body.
Current Strategies to Tackle COVID-19
Since the pandemic started in 2020, a number of therapies have been developed to combat COVID-19.
The leading options for preventing infection include social distancing, mask-wearing, and vaccination. They are still recommended during the upsurge of the coronavirus’s latest mutation, the Omicron variant.
But in December 2021, The United States Food and Drug Administration (USDA) granted Emergency Use Authorization to two experimental pills for the treatment of new COVID-19 cases.
These medications, one made by Pfizer and the other by Merck & Co., hope to contribute to the fight against the coronavirus and its variants. Alongside vaccinations, they may help to curb extreme cases of COVID-19 by reducing the need for hospitalization.
Despite tackling the same disease, vaccines and pills work differently:
|Taken by injection||Taken by mouth|
|Used for prevention||Used for treatment only|
|Create an enhanced immune system by stimulating antibody production||Disrupt the assembly of new viral particles|
How a Vaccine Helps Prevent COVID-19
The main purpose of a vaccine is to prewarn the body of a potential COVID-19 infection by creating antibodies that target and destroy the coronavirus.
In order to do this, the immune system needs an antigen.
It’s difficult to do this risk-free since all antigens exist directly on a virus. Luckily, vaccines safely expose antigens to our immune systems without the dangerous parts of the virus.
In the case of COVID-19, the coronavirus’s antigen is the spike protein that covers its outer surface. Vaccines inject antigen-building instructions* and use our own cellular machinery to build the coronavirus antigen from scratch.
When exposed to the spike protein, the immune system begins to assemble antigen-specific antibodies. These antibodies wait for the opportunity to attack the real spike protein when a coronavirus enters the body. Since antibodies decrease over time, booster immunizations help to maintain a strong line of defense.
*While different vaccine technologies exist, they all do a similar thing: introduce an antigen and build a stronger immune system.
How COVID Antiviral Pills Work
Antiviral pills, unlike vaccines, are not a preventative strategy. Instead, they treat an infected individual experiencing symptoms from the virus.
Two drugs are now entering the market. Merck & Co.’s Lagevrio®, composed of one molecule, and Pfizer’s Paxlovid®, composed of two.
These medications disrupt specific processes in the viral assembly line to choke the virus’s ability to replicate.
The Mechanism of Molnupiravir
RNA-dependent RNA Polymerase (RdRp) is a cellular component that works similar to a photocopying machine for the virus’s genetic instructions. An infected host cell is forced to produce RdRp, which starts generating more copies of the virus’s RNA.
Molnupiravir, developed by Merck & Co., is a polymerase inhibitor. It inserts itself into the viral instructions that RdRp is copying, jumbling the contents. The RdRp then produces junk.
The Mechanism of Nirmatrelvir + Ritonavir
A replicating virus makes proteins necessary for its survival in a large, clumped mass called a polyprotein. A cellular component called a protease cuts a virus’s polyprotein into smaller, workable pieces.
Pfizer’s antiviral medication is a protease inhibitor made of two pills:
- The first pill, nirmatrelvir, stops protease from cutting viral products into smaller pieces.
- The second pill, ritonavir, protects nirmatrelvir from destruction by the body and allows it to keep working.
With a faulty polymerase or a large, unusable polyprotein, antiviral medications make it difficult for the coronavirus to replicate. If treated early enough, they can lessen the virus’s impact on the body.
The Future of COVID Antiviral Pills and Medications
Antiviral medications seem to have a bright future ahead of them.
COVID-19 antivirals are based on early research done on coronaviruses from the 2002-04 SARS-CoV and the 2012 MERS-CoV outbreaks. Current breakthroughs in this technology may pave the way for better pharmaceuticals in the future.
One half of Pfizer’s medication, ritonavir, currently treats many other viruses including HIV/AIDS.
Gilead Science is currently developing oral derivatives of remdesivir, another polymerase inhibitor currently only offered to inpatients in the United States.
More coronavirus antivirals are currently in the pipeline, offering a glimpse of control on the looming presence of COVID-19.
Author’s Note: The medical information in this article is an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please talk to your doctor before undergoing any treatment for COVID-19. If you become sick and believe you may have symptoms of COVID-19, please follow the CDC guidelines.
Economy5 days ago
Charted: Public Trust in the Federal Reserve
Visual Capitalist3 weeks ago
Calling All Data Storytellers to Enter our Creator Program Challenge
Technology3 days ago
Ranked: The World’s Top 25 Websites in 2023
Misc2 weeks ago
Ranked: Top 10 Cities Where International Travelers Spend the Most
Technology2 days ago
Visualizing the Top U.S. States for AI Jobs
VC+2 weeks ago
Coming Soon: Here’s What’s Coming to VC+ Next
Personal Finance4 weeks ago
Ranked: The Best U.S. States for Retirement
Markets2 weeks ago
Visualizing the American Workforce as 100 People