What if data storytelling was used against COVID-19?

B.
2 min readJan 10, 2021

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, it is part of my daily routine to begin the day by reading “DER SPIEGEL” (free promotion ;-)), one of the most read German news websites.

In a times where neither scientists nor politics could really provide clear statements about this new virus which came from nowhere, “DER SPIEGEL” has tried from my point of view to inform their audience about the evolution of the pandemic in Germany with clear FACTS.

While Germany was among the few countries which manage to control the spread of the coronavirus during the first wave of the pandemic, the expected second wave which began in the autumn severely touched the country which lost the advantages gained during the spring. The weariness of the population vis-à-vis the inconsistent statements of the government and the scientific community actively contribute to this situation. Both instances often contradict themselves publicly when it came to give clear recommendations about the measures to adopt in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

After Christmas holiday, Angela Merkel and her staff announced in a video that the lockdown conditions in the country will be extend and harden in order to curb the pandemic as soon as possible. However, what was missing in her statement was evidence which were used for taking this decision. How could the population be sure that the extension of lockdown restrictions will lead to a decrease of COVID-19 contamination and deaths?

In a compact and structured article, “DER SPIEGEL” presents these evidences in form of a data storytelling where the reader could interactively and easily see the correlation between the new measures and how they will contribute to a reduction of interpopulation contamination. The impact on the number of coronavirus related deaths could be also deduced from the data and based on this information reader could estimate how they might expect the return to a “normal life”. Moreover, DER SPIEGEL described sometimes in words, sometimes using graphics three different scenarios and their impact on people lives, on health- and economic system:

1. What if the rules had been hardened sooner by the government and follow by the majority of the population?

2. What if we follow the rules now?

3. What if the majority of the population, because of the tiredness decide to violate the new rules?

Having these detailed facts, it becomes clear that the fight against this invisible enemy is not only a government duty. We all could play a big role in bringing our “old” lives back.

--

--

B.

Retail & Marketing on my heart - Automotive on my mind - Data & Analytics driven. I write in English, German or French