Sitting behind a desk plotting graphs may seem like the last thing to do in a health crisis, but it may surprise you how often math is on the front lines in our fight against deadly diseases.
Our world runs on data, from the stock market and targeted ads to making scientific discoveries that push the human race forward. So what can data predict about our increasingly unpredictable futures?
In 2007, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention released a paper containing a now-infamous chart titled 'Flatten the Curve'. It put across three basic ideas to fight a pandemic: delay the outbreak, reduce the number of cases at its peak, and ease the burden on healthcare resources. After being rediscovered amid the COVID-19 outbreak, 'Flatten the Curve' has become a popular fighting slogan against the pandemic. Without being rooted in real-world data, it has a single clear message for us: reduce daily infections.