The current COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything we have faced before as a global community. Responses from governments around the world, combined with the collective spirit of people practicing social isolation in efforts to “flatten the curve,” could help bring us closer to ending the outbreak. However, finding essential updates and data while avoiding misinformation can be a unique challenge in our constantly connected world. This week’s #WebsiteWednesday was created by a developer who wanted to provide a solution to this problem via a single platform: Cov19.xyz.
Cov19.xyz is a coronavirus tracking project created by Martin Pham, the CTO of an Italian digital marketing and web agency with over 12 years of experience in the software industry. Martin is based in one of the countries hit hardest by the COVID-19 outbreak, and the sudden upheaval inspired him to create Cov19.xyz. As he explains, “We’re under nationwide lockdown for 10 days. Our life was changed completely in just 3 weeks. I was trying to get updated information about the outbreak. But I got a lot of fake news, wrong information, and slow-updated data. So I tried to make my own dashboard.”
The Cov19.xyz dashboard Martin developed aims to give a comprehensive snapshot of the current status of COVID-19 on a global scale, including statistics like number of cases and number of recoveries. Martin lists the World Health Organization, the Italian Civil Protection Department, and Johns Hopkins University as examples of the sources he used for the data on Cov19.xyz. Country-specific data sourced by Cov19.xyz shows more details on numbers around the world, and the timeline comparison graph visualizes the sourced data to create an assessment of how far along each country is in leveling off the virus’ impact.
Further statistical information also sourced by Cov19.xyz includes age and sex ratio in confirmed cases and transmission estimates. Data like this can be difficult to interpret, so Cov19.xyz intends to provide it in a way that allows site visitors to visualize it effectively. Creator Martin Pham aims to compile this data in a responsible manner in order to achieve that goal. “I want to update the current situation to everyone, in every country,” Martin says. “And I also want to share trusted information from WHO, universities, and experts to help people protect themselves and their family.”
Staying updated on information about COVID-19 is only part of the battle in curbing its spread worldwide. Cov19.xyz curates information on commonly reported symptoms, incubation period information reported by WHO, Hubei Province local government, and JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association), as well as guides from WHO on how to protect yourself and use a mask.
It’s likely that, by the time you are reading this, your employer acted to adjust daily work routines to accommodate for self-isolation practices and to comply with ordinances that limit interaction with the outside world. Being that Italy was one of the first countries to feel the significant impact COVID-19 has on work-life, Martin has a unique perspective on what it is like to work during the outbreak. His experience may sound familiar to many of our readers, just as it did to many of us here at XYZ. “Here in Italy, many technology companies including us are doing ‘Smart working.’ We encourage working remotely from home for this time, doing meetings via video calls. Especially people with symptoms.”
Some businesses were already running with fully remote workforces, but quarantine efforts are adding additional challenges for all. Still, many are staying positive about the humanitarian side of these drastic measures, like Martin: “Saying it’s good is a lie, but we haven’t faced any big problems yet. The only problem for me is we also have kids at home (schools are closed.) So sometimes my calls get distracted with kids laughing (or even fighting.) Other countries have proven lockdown really reduced infected cases, and therefore decreased pressure to hospitals. In the end, our grandparents had to stay on the fields to fight during the wars, and we just need to stay at home. Of course, we can do it.”
We asked Martin what motivated him to choose a .xyz domain to create his COVID-19 dashboard, and we were inspired by his use of .xyz to echo the goals he has for the platform itself. “I chose .xyz as the first idea since they are the last letters (in the alphabet), meaning it always has the latest information for people. And it’s also a cool extension…”
In challenging times such as these, we’re proud that we can find encouragement and hope from inspiring .xyz community members like Martin. If you would like to show your appreciation to Martin for creating Cov19.xyz, be sure to send him a donation in thanks for his work.
On behalf of the entire XYZ team, we wish you and your loved ones health and safety as we take on COVID-19 together.