1. A very short thread on the power of data graphics and scientific communication.

Roughly a week ago, some very smart person* sat down, drew this graph, and saved lives.

(*It's 2 AM. Without an economist subscription, I can't quickly discover whom. Maybe someone can help.)
2. This single picture explains the concept of *flattening the epidemic curve* to non-specialists without requiring any additional text. Looking at the picture, you can see that even if you don't reduce total cases, slowing down the rate of an epidemic can be critical.
3. There is a lot of complicated epidemiological modeling behind this idea, but this graphic strips all of that away, and discards irrelevant details to provide a straightforward story that people find easy to grasp at a glance.

It *simplifies* and *highlights* what matters.
4. I've seldom seen a piece of sci-comm matter so much. We have an opportunity to flatten the #COVID19 #coronavirus epidemic curve by aggressive social distancing and other measures.

But people don't understand what the point is, if the virus is going to circulate broadly.
5. This graph provides the answer, powerfully and concisely.

And because of that, it has exploded across twitter and other media. I've used it myself a number of times. This graph is changing minds, and by changing minds, it is saving lives.
6. So to the designer of the graph, I apologize for not attributing your work.

Still I hope you feel great pride that by sitting down for a few minutes or hours, and using your skills as a communicator to get this message across, you have literally saved lives.

Thank you.
7. As a disinformation researcher I see so many downsides of tech. But this is the best of humanity.

Many have worked hard over decades to figure out how diseases spread and what we can do about it. Their work allows one person to understand, synthesize, and see how to convey…
8. …this understanding with a few pen-strokes. Because of our communication technology, others view this simple diagram, realize its value, and share with millions—who change their behavior based on what they now understand as well, slowing a deadly virus.

Lives are saved.
9. Thank you to all identified the designer of the @TheEconomist graphic (below) as @_rospearce. Marvelous work.

I'd love to find the designer of the modified version. By adding the dashed line for healthcare capacity, that diagram stresses an important aspect of the story.
10. Credit for the revised version goes to @drewaharris.

I hope that I do one thing in my career with as much positive impact as you did by creating and publicizing this graph.

11. For those looking for a sourced image to share, publish, etc, here is one option from @splette. twitter.com/splette/status… twitter.com/splette/status…
12. @k_thos and I designed a revision version of the graph, available for any use under a CC-BY-2.0 license. Please share broadly.

More details in this thread: twitter.com/CT_Bergstrom/s…
14. Just to keep everything in the same place, here's an English-language version of the Japan's Health and Labor Minister Kato Katsunobu presented on Feb 23rd.


h/t @MHLWitter
15. A simple simulation to look at the interacting effects of a temporary lockdown and sustained control measures, from @colintomjenkins. twitter.com/colintomjenkin…
17. This version of the #SlowTheSpread / #FlattenTheCurve graph has been scientifically designed using advanced social media theory to mathematically optimize its own spread on the internet. twitter.com/mimimibe/statu…
18. #FlattenTheCurve is the difference between playing 1-on-1 defense versus dealing with a 5-on-1 fast break.


I'm told that this means that I've made the Big Time.

Yes, this a promotion from PornHub. h/t @pzmyers

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