Like many others, I wanted to spend time building a project related to the covid-19 pandemic. There's been a lot of great software efforts over the past few weeks, from the impressive dashboards available online to the intricate data visualizations and machine learning models.
But what people forgot to build was a beacon of hope. The dashboards, grand as they are, are dark, scary, and busy. Many machine learning models predict grim outcomes, contributing to an evergrowing fear amongst us. The mainstream media, in its effort to cover this novel disease and inform us of the emminent danger some of us are in, has cast a blanket of fear over its viewers.
I saught to provide balance to this fear and anxiety by building covid19wontkill.me, a website that inspires hope during this hard time. This site is clean and beautiful on desktops and mobile devices.
What it does
I've provided a clear analysis of the pandemic that you can use to determine your individual risk. Simple ways of representing the data were chosen so that the average person can decipher them with ease. The analysis puts an emphasis on individuality, so Python and plot.ly were used to generate interactive plots. Right off the bat, a pie chart confirms the common knowledge that the vast majority of cases are mild. Next, I discuss how common the different covid-19 symptoms are and which of them are considered severe. Then, I go over the infection rates by age groups of 10 years. Next, I help you learn what your individual risk of mortality is. By comparing death rates of covid-19 to death rates from "normal" causes, you can better understand how the risk that covid-19 poses compares to what you already face. Afterwards, I go on to explain how pre-existing conditions contribute to mortality rate.
Understanding how covid-19 will affect you specifically will allow you to more easily reach a calm, peaceful state of mind because the unknown quanitities are reduced. For the vast majority of people, they will see that they realistically have little risk of mortality so long as they follow social distancing protocols to the best of their ability.
I've also provided a growing list of articles scraped from Reddit that provide good news. The iframely embeding api is used to display the Reddit articles in a clean, straightforward fashion. This will help improve people's moods and restore some of their faith that everything will be okay.
I've also provided a list of activities you can do in quarantine. These range from fun online games you can play with your friends to skill building recommendations. Each suggestion provides details on where to start so that you don't feel overwhelmed. By combatting boredom and lonliness, your mental health will not suffer as much and you will remain happy and positive.
I'm also in the process of suggesting ways you can help yourself in others during these difficult times, which will be published shortly.
How I built it
With <3 (and python, plotly, html, css, etc)
Challenges I ran into
I tried to purchase a domain from a Linux machine running an aggressive privacy based browser, all while connected to a mostly unheard of VPN service. Unsurprisingly, I was suspected of fraud and just like that, two hours went down the drain (lol).
Once I got the amazing covid19wontkill.me domain, I was unable to get it to work with GitHub pages because of DNS propagation issues. Rather than risk the domain not propagating before my submission is judged, I decided to use the github.io domain instead, which sucks, because I've done this exact thing on GitHub pages with my personal website and it only took 15 minutes. Alas, the DNS gods were not on my side this weekend.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I'm proud to have been able to complete a project aimed towards bettering social wellness on my own.
What I learned
I learned how to use plotly, which is a surprisingly simple plotting library, considering that the plots are both lovely and interactive.
What's next for covid19wontkill.me
Actually using my covid19wontkill.me domain, for starters :). I still have one section of the website ("what can I do to help myself and others") that I was unable to complete due to time constraints (I probably should have woken up at a reasonable hour and not wasted time playing games). Also, I wanted to send daily updates of good news with twilio, but alas, time constraints.
Try It out
bootstrap, css, html5, iframely, plotly, python