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Data, Statistics and COVID-19

The world is facing a pandemic on a scale that has not been seen since the “Spanish Flu” of 1919.  Today the world has global travel to spread the virus much more quickly and the Internet to inform (or misinform) everyone.  It is the first pandemic we are seeing in close to real time. 

The numbers are stark.  With what we know, if no action is taken then 70% of the population may be infected.  Perhaps 1% of infections might be fatal.  That suggests 175,000 fatalities in Australia.  Such an outcome would be comparable to the Spanish Flu.  Fortunately no country has failed to take any action and the fatalities are much lower than that.

As statisticians and data scientists, we at Data Analysis Australia see this very much from the data.  COVID-19 provides an illustration of data saving lives, in keeping with the tradition of that pioneer of both statistics and nursing, Florence Nightingale.

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