A Christian Witness in a COVID-Shaped World
Cultivate a Christian imagination
Tableau Public site
To track the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and better inform people about known risks, CSR has prepared an interactive Tableau Public dashboard, drawing on the generous public work of the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University. The newest feature is a visual meeting risk calculator on Tableau Public with an accompanying demonstration video.
We have also begun a series of videos hosted on our YouTube channel; check out the CSR COVID-19 playlist or watch a sample video below:
Data-driven resources and journalism
These articles and dashboards have impressed us as reliable, informative communications. Visit and like our Facebook page for recent links and to suggest additions to this list.
Dashboards, maps, and simulators
- Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE)
- World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 dashboard
- HealthMap (Harvard/Boston/Northeastern/Oxford Martin School) animated dashboard
- Interactive pandemic simulator by epidemiologist Alison Hill
- Barclay, Eliza and Dylan Scott (March 10, 2020). "How canceled events and self-quarantines save lives, in one chart: This is how we all help slow the spread of coronavirus." Vox.com
- Kristof, Nicholas and Stuart A. Thompson (March 13, 2020). "Opinion: How Much Worse the Coronavirus Could Get, in Charts" (narrative simulation). New York Times.
- Makulec, Amanda (March 11, 2020). "Ten Considerations Before You Create Another Chart About COVID-19." Nightingale blog on Medium.com
- Pueyo, Tomas (March 10, 2020; updated March 19, 2020). "Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now." Coronavirus blog on Medium.com
Pueyo's influential post (40 million views and translations into 30 languages) argues that data from China and the US state of Washington allow us to make calculable the risks of working together and holding meetings and events. Pueyo demonstrates fairly convincingly that the costs of not discouraging meetings and workplace mingling are enormous. We drew on Pueyo's math to create a visual meeting risk calculator and an accompanying demonstration video.
- Rost, Lisa Charlotte (March 12, 2020). "Weekly Chart: #FlattenTheCurve" (blog post). Datawrapper.de
This insightful, urgent blog post includes a useful exponential-growth chart that aligns countries by the date they reached 100 cases and plots rates of doubling as diagonal reference lines. We adopted these lines in our independently-developed Tableau visualization.
- Stevens, Harry (March 14, 2020). "Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to 'flatten the curve'" (narrative simulation). Washington Post.
- Valentino-DeVries, Jennifer, Denise Lu and (April 3, 2020). "Location Data Says It All: Staying at Home During Coronavirus Is a Luxury." (Scrolling chart-based narrative) New York Times
Uses cell-phone location data and Census tract income estimates to illustrate wealth-based disparities in self-isolating behavior. "[B]y that date [March 16, when President Trump announced a national stay-home recommendation from the CDC], those in the highest-income locations had already cut their movement by nearly half. did not see a similar drop until three days later." By that time infection risk had at least doubled.
- Wu, Jin et al, (March 22, 2020). "How the virus got out." Narrative map-based data visualization. New York Times.
Coverage of CSR's work
- "When meetings become risky business" (March 23, 2020). Press release by Calvin University.
- "Calvin University employee creates a 'risk calculator' to help people track COVID-19" (March 24, 2020), WZZM13.com
- "This interactive Calvin University graph shows why social distancing works" (March 24, 2020), Fox17online.com
Local and institutional resources
West Michigan community partners
- The Kent County Health Department (KCHD) maintains a COVID-19 information page.
- The Kent County Essential Needs Task Force (ENTF) convenes nonprofits, philanthropic funders, government agencies, business representatives, and other willing partners to meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable people in our community. The Food and Nutrition Subcommittee is particularly active early in the pandemic organizing emergency food delivery for homebound schoolchildren and others who rely on institutional food supplies.
- Heart of West Michigan United Way fields calls from neighbors in need on its 2-1-1 hotline and has a Coronavirus information page.
Health Services' Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Like most institutions of higher education, Calvin is grappling with the logistical and ethical problems posed by pandemic response. The general public may learn right alongside our community from Health Services' Frequently Asked Questions page.
Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW)
Our colleagues at CICW are maintaining "COVID-19 and Worship: Resources for Churches Adapting to Social Isolation," a page that includes links to "Pandemics and Public Worship Throughout History" and to COVID-19 materials on the new Preaching and Worship site, a joint venture with the Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL).