After experiencing the issue of finding essential products like milk, eggs, water, toilet paper, etc. at one store and the need to drive around to at least 2-3 other stores and possibly not finding it at all, I came up with an idea. People can share this information with each other very easily and after observing how neighborhoods, cities and entire nations came together to fight this invisible enemy, I believe this can be achieved. The math is simple - the exponential spread of coronavirus is out of control. One infected person can spread the virus to hundreds of others in a matter of days. So if each one of us can minimize interactions with each other specifically at the stores, I believe we all can dramatically drop the spread.
What it does
The idea is simple: If you are already at the store update the supply status of a product for others to see the availability of this product BEFORE coming to the store. Thus, reduce the unnecessary exposure to other people. There is also "discussions" section ready for anything coronavirus related in your area.
How I built it
I have experience in spatial databases (Postgres to be specific). So I was able to really quickly set up a simple yet pretty powerful API using Django (DRF) + spatial Postgres. To make it available for a wider audience, I decided to put together I React website that is responsive and can be used as a PWA (progressive web app).
Challenges I ran into
I've never worked with Google Maps in a React environment before, so that was a bit tricky at first, but after it got easier. Another challenge that I have is that I am still a developer first, UX expert second, so making the right UI decisions is a challenge for me.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I am really proud that I was able to build a public ready beta version of this site in some 2.5-3 days all by myself. I also wrote a post about AntiCovid19 site on the Neighbors app in my area and already received a lot of positive comments and even some emails. Here is the link to that post
What I learned
Coding-wise I learned more React since it's very new to me and I just recently started playing with it. Also, learned a few new tricks with geospatial calculations in Django. Idea-wise I learned that the more people hear about this idea, the more people are ready to help and spread the word.
What's next for AntiCovid19
Besides product statuses and discussions, the backend also has what I call a "covid person API". The next steps are to implement a UI for people to mark themselves on the map for instance if they tested positive, tested negative, self-quarantined etc. This feature could be very useful a) for tracking the spread more accurately and b) to let the high-risk population a better understanding of their surroundings and possibly avoid those areas.
Another step that I think should be picked up by the local governments is to spread the word not only to the buyers but also to the store managers and employees so that they could also do the product updates directly.
Try It out