Data-Driven Hope

This is an interesting time. You’re getting no shortage of emails coming to your inbox about how this is “unprecedented” and “difficult.” I find when I hear things like that, I usually turn inward and focus on myself. But during “unprecedented and difficult times,” that’s not what we need and definitely not what those around us need. Here’s what I’ve been doing to help reframe my thoughts and emotions over the past few days—

Understanding My Anxiety

We see charts like these that make us think the world is about to end.


Source: Johns Hopkins

Source: Macrobond Financial

One of my go-to podcasts is “RobCast.” The speaker last week shared his thoughts on what’s so hard for us concerning this time. In times like these, we’re anxious because we don’t know “how bad things will get.” For instance, if we’re preparing for a blizzard, we know that the blizzard won’t last more than a few days. We have a roadmap for how the storm will play out. With this virus, it feels like we don’t know how low the bottom really is. Those facts will cause anxiety in anyone. It’s the feeling of the new unknown that is causing us to worry as much as we are, and that is a very normal feeling to have.

Understanding the (Short) History of COVID-19

For me, digging into what has happened so far with the virus’s evolution is helping me quickly move past this feeling of despair and move into this feeling that we’re going to get through this. For instance, my friend Oscar, who runs GAN Accelerator Chinaccelerator in China, sent this to me over the weekend:

Things are getting back to normal, which I think shows very clearly that this is a temporary situation and that you need to be careful but also stay sane.” — Oscar from Chinaccelerator

It was a good reminder that, while China started experiencing COVID-19 in December 2019, four months later, “things are getting back to normal.” Just yesterday, Wuhan (the original epicenter for the virus) experienced only 1 new case. And, we’ve seen the fatality rate for COVID-19 in China drop to its lowest point this year and the growth factor of new cases outside of China reach one of its lowest points thus far (see charts below).

 

Source: Worldometer

 

Understanding the Virus’s Trajectory

When we start looking at the facts about what is happening, we start seeing a more positive story. China and South Korea have successfully slowed the spread by taking action, and we can hope the same will happen across the globe.

As my friend Aaron Ginn says about this: “This infection bell curve is supported in academic research. A virus doesn’t grow linearly forever. It accelerates, plateaus, and then declines. It eventually runs out of gas—it’s called Farr’s Law.” This is a (data-driven) reminder that, with proper action, this is, in fact, temporary.

Source: WSJ

What I’m Reading and Loving

I can’t control the virus or our government’s response to it. But, I can control how I’m showing up in the world. Here are some resources I’ve seen and new rhythms I’ve been incorporating—