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I’ve been monitoring the slow build of novel coronavirus (aka SARS-CoV-2, aka COVID-19) since the new year – and the spread from Wuhan, Hubei, PRC to the rest of the world.

Early cases in the greater Seattle area started appearing in late January 2020 – and from looking at the preparedness of the US it was clear that this could only take two courses – quickly fizzle out, or become a major public health emergency.

It took around a month from the first Washington state case to the first death on 29 February. Since then it’s been just two short weeks featuring public anxiety, panic buying and now state-wide school closures, working from home and public distancing.

The first major panic buying spree was around the start of March. Here are shelves in our local Target, Issaquah, WA with all shelves of toilet paper, hand wipes, sanitiser and bleach stripped bare.


Since the beginning of March many workplaces have taken measures to allow employees to work from home where possible. Microsoft and Amazon both announced immediate short term restrictions on 4 March 2020. My own employer, BECU, has also supported working from home where possible.

The remaining posts in this series will chronical the development and spread of COVID-19 over the coming weeks and months.

Especially useful data, modelling and visualisation have come via the Johns Hopkins University dashboard and other online resources. I’ll try and keep a running list.

Good resources: