Dazzle Me with Data, Sway Me with Science!

Using Data Visualization to Explain the Dangers of a COVID-19 Herd Immunity Approach

“Flu Genome Data Visualizer” by blprnt_van is licensed with CC BY 2.0.

A Dangerous Permission Structure

The Great Barrington Declaration is an open letter written and signed by three medical professors from Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford. It recommends that only those people at highest risk of dying from the disease isolate themselves to be protected from infection, while the rest of society goes about their business as usual, albeit with “simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick.” The declaration was sponsored by the American Institute for Economic Research, a libertarian free-market think tank headquartered in western Massachusetts. The institute is part of an organizational network funded by Charles Koch, a far right wing billionaire known for promoting climate change denial and opposing regulations on business.

A Coordinated and Swift Response

If this all sounds too good to be true, it is. The Declaration is downright scary, espousing a fringe viewpoint that would lead to a much higher death toll.

Convince Me with Context

We don’t need more numbers. We need better data visualization. We need a way to combat the message of, “my data scientist can beat up your data scientist.”

Medical Science Liaison in the pharma industry. Former technical writer, science writer, and market research analyst. General data enthusiast.

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