MAR 31, 2020 8:36 AM PDT

Pandemic in Silico: How Maths Modeling Helps Our COVID Fight

WRITTEN BY: Daniel Duan

The phrase "flattening the curve" is used frequently these days by epidemiologists to describe various measures to keep the daily Covid19 cases at a manageable level, in order to avoid overwhelming our healthcare system.

It has also brought mathematical modeling of the pandemic to the public's attention. According to a Youtube channel, 3Blue1Brown, a simple yet realistic simulation known as the SIR model can help us gain some fundamental understanding of how the coronavirus spread in our society. And more importantly, by focusing on several critical parameters, we can contain the pandemic more effectively, delay its spread, and prevent unnecessary suffering.

For example, positive changes in personal hygiene - frequent handwashing, mouth covering when sneezing and coughing, and zero face touching - can drastically reduce the probability of infection and flatten the curve. Other measures, such as social distancing, avoid centralized gathering, identifying and isolating confirmed cases, and avoiding cross-community travel, are among the most effective community approaches. 

Want to find out how other parameters can affect the curve? Watch the above video in full.  

Source: 3Blue1Brown via Youtube

About the Author
  • Graduated with a bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Science and a master degree in neuropharmacology, Daniel is a radiopharmaceutical and radiobiology expert based in Ottawa, Canada. With years of experience in biomedical R&D, Daniel is very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles. The recurring topics in his Chemistry & Physics trending news section include alternative energy, material science, theoretical physics, medical imaging, and green chemistry.
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