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This file tracks information related to the COVID-19 viral outbreak that started in Wuhan, China, in late 2019.

These notes were started on January 17, 2020, with an eye on data-related matters, especially data sharing (or the lack of it), as per the more broadly scoped umbrella file,

Since then, lots of sources of information (and misinformation) on the topic have sprung up, both the virus and the disease have received official names, and I have tried to insert my notes into the Wikimedia ecosystem when appropriate, rather than detailing things here.

Community portals

Situation reports

Governmental organizations


Publishers, journals and repositories

WHO visit to China



Open questions

These are some of the questions that have been open at some point in the pandemic. Some have decent answers by now.

Data aspects

Data sharing policy


Decision-making based on incomplete data


Genome data

Mask shortage

Number of cases

Number of tests

Outbreak prediction

Pandemic preparedness plan


Population stats


Protein structure data

RNA Structure prediction algorithm



Social distancing






Open hardware


Drug supply

Clinical trials

Clinical protocols

Political aspects

Public Health Emergency of International Concern

Freedom of Information / Freedom of Press / Misinformation


Scientific culture

  • On January 24, 2020, the Washington Post ran a piece specifically on the pace and openness of research on the virus and how it reflects a change in the scientific culture "Scientists are unraveling the Chinese coronavirus with unprecedented speed and opennessScientists are unraveling the Chinese coronavirus with unprecedented speed and openness"
    • lots of good tidbits there, albeit encumbered by aggressive DRM
      • “Imagine walking from Chicago to San Francisco, and then imagine taking a plane from Chicago to San Francisco. That’s kind of the difference,” Mesecar said.

      • He hopes revealing the secrets of how the virus works will help calm the spreading panic. He noted that influenza sickens and kills large numbers of people in the United States and globally each year, but doesn’t trigger a worldwide panic because the risks are understood and a vaccine exists.

      • “When you don’t understand something, you panic. You have fear. When you gain an understanding, you don’t fear something as much — you know how it’s going to operate,” Mesecar said. “By sharing that information faster ... both research as well as what’s happening on the ground with individuals, I’m hoping that panic and that fear are going to go down.”

Web traffic

Individual countries




Environmental effects

Long-term effects

  • Coronavirus Will Change the World Permanently. Here’s How.
    • some quotes
      • "“Is there any good reason to do this in person?”"

      • "Maybe the de-militarization of American patriotism and love of community will be one of the benefits to come out of this whole awful mess."

      • "The coronavirus pandemic marks the end of our romance with market society and hyper-individualism."

      • "All faiths have dealt with the challenge of keeping faith alive under the adverse conditions of war or diaspora or persecution—but never all faiths at the same time."

      • "Plagues drive change."

      • "The resistance—led by teachers’ unions and the politicians beholden to them—to allowing partial homeschooling or online learning for K-12 kids has been swept away by necessity."

      • "This is breaking open a medium with human generosity and empathy."

      • "VR allows us to have the experiences we want even if we have to be isolated, quarantined or alone. Maybe that will be how we adapt and stay safe in the next outbreak."

      • "Out of necessity, remote office visits could skyrocket in popularity as traditional-care settings are overwhelmed by the pandemic."

      • "This crisis should unleash widespread political support for Universal Family Care"

      • "The coronavirus has laid bare the failures of our costly, inefficient, market-based system for developing, researching and manufacturing medicines and vaccines."

      • "Unlike with tobacco use or climate change, science doubters will be able to see the impacts of the coronavirus immediately."

      • "Coronavirus is going to force many institutions to go virtual. One that would greatly benefit from the change is the U.S. Congress."

      • "The widely accepted idea that government is inherently bad won’t persist after coronavirus."

      • " The coronavirus is this century’s most urgent challenge to humanity. Harnessing a new sense of solidarity, citizens of states and cities will rise to face the enormous challenges ahead such as climate change and transforming our era of historic inequality into one of economic inclusion."

      • "It’s clear that in a crisis, the rules don’t apply—which makes you wonder why they are rules in the first place. This is an unprecedented opportunity to not just hit the pause button and temporarily ease the pain, but to permanently change the rules so that untold millions of people aren’t so vulnerable to begin with."

      • "Most of all, we need to remember that public trust is crucial to governance—and that trust depends on telling the truth."

      • "Expect a political uprising"

      • "Electronic voting goes mainstream"

      • "Election Day will become Election Month"

      • "Voting by mail will become the norm"

      • "In the best-case scenario, the trauma of the pandemic will force society to accept restraints on mass consumer culture as a reasonable price to pay to defend ourselves against future contagions and climate disasters alike."

      • "The coronavirus pandemic will create move pressure on corporations to weigh the efficiency and costs/benefits of a globalized supply chain system against the robustness of a domestic-based supply chain."

      • "The inequality gap will widen"

      • "Probably, given past behavior, when this pandemic is over, human beings will respond with the same sense of relief and a search for community, relief from stress and pleasure."

      • "Less communal dining—but maybe more cooking"

      • "Urban parks—in which most major cities have made significant investments over the past decade—are big enough to accommodate both crowds and social distancing."

      • "Urban parks—in which most major cities have made significant investments over the past decade—are big enough to accommodate both crowds and social distancing."

      • "This current plague time might see a recharged commitment to a closer-to-the-bone worldview that recognizes we have a short time on earth, the Doomsday Clock is a minute from midnight, and living peacefully and meaningfully together is going to take much more than bed-making and canny investments. The Power of No Habits. "

  • International Affairs & the Global Geopolitical Order after Coronavirus
    • "Countries like China, South Korea, and Singapore have responded best to the pandemic crisis. The response in the West has been slow and haphazard by comparison, further clouding the aura of the Western global hegemony."

See also

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