Sunday, March 29, 2020

Data nerds unite!

Since, it's the weekend there isn't a great deal of market moving news to discuss. In thin trading, the futures are off another 1% Sunday night after the "open for business date" was pushed to 4/30 which I feel is still way too optimistic.

While this coming week will be a sad week in NY State as cases of COVID19 spike and deaths accelerate, I am hopeful that eventually, New York City will start to turn the corner in 10-12 days though it will be a long 2 weeks and we need to remain vigilant with regards to social distancing.

To that end, I'm going to share a couple of data models that I found helpful to understanding why it is so important that we keep our distance.  These are just models but they are based on the science of virus transmission, so they are pretty valid.

This past week, I had to make a trip to our local retailers for supplies.  I was appalled at the lack of distancing, the lack of understanding of the dangers this poses to those over 60 and a general sense of "meh". 

We can chose to take this seriously as a nation and start to heal in 30 days OR we can continue down this path of half measures, bailouts, and rambling press briefings and our country will still be shutdown on July 4th.

If you find these visual data tools helpful share with your friends.

In this first visualization we look at the impact of 2 stores where 3 people are infected out of a total of 30 people in the store.  On the left side of the diagram, you have the way we currently are operating (random movement).  On the right side of the diagram is an organized line-up.  You'll have to click the video to play it after you follow the link.
[OC] Grocery store crowd visualization - sample size : 30 persons entering the store, 3 of which are initially infected - Left : free random movement, Right : organized queue from r/dataisbeautiful

This second visualization is a little longer but it shows the various ways to approach a virus like this - the assumptions are 2,000 people in the community. 
Scenario 1 - free movement - 200+ deaths over 10%
Scenario 2 - reduced interation - 50 deaths - 2.5%
Scenario 3 - strict lockdown - just 7 deaths - 0.3% (almost 70% not infected)
Scenario 4 - self-isolation is ignored - 170+ deaths because some portion of society keeps reintroducing the virus by violated self-isolation rules.  

Last week, I said I was pleasantly surprised the way people were reacting to the rules on being out in public however, a week later, I've become more concerned that people are going ignore isolation suggestions (particularly as this goes on and on) and that is going to put us in a Scenario 4 situation.

Working on a COVID-19 simulator, here's a few scenarios visualised [OC] from r/dataisbeautiful


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