COVID-19 Datagraphics

Overview

The goal: provide the public of the Federal Reserve’s Third District a daily updated set of datagraphics tracking the COVID-19 pandemic in the region.

Throughout the lockdown, in my own time I created datagraphics tracking the COVID-19 outbreak in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Illinois, and Virginia. When Philadelphia Fed economists began using my work in monetary policy discussions, I offered to create a specific series for the Bank.

Two COVID-19 datagraphics reflecting the status of the pandemic in the PA-NJ-DE region and the Philadelphia Fed's Third District coverage of Pennsylvania

My Personal Work

A depressing design piece.

Produced daily for Instagram and Facebook.

Summarised weekly for Coffeespoons.

At the beginning of COVID-19, we had little idea of how and where the novel coronavirus was spreading. I started using the data provided by Johns Hopkins University to produce datagraphics about the pandemic and continued for nearly two years.

Before the lockdowns began, I tracked the pandemic’s initial spread producing datagraphics for Instagram and Facebook for my family and friends. Once the lockdowns began in earnest, I committed to daily production of datagraphics for what would become Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Illinois, and Virginia after requests from friends and family outside Philadelphia.

Initially I produced these datagraphics solely for myself after hours, because during lockdown I had plenty of free time. When news or special coverage warranted, I added additional bespoke graphics separate from my regular series. These included maps about reopening conditions in Pennsylvania, comparisons of COVID to the flu, and the economic impacts.

Pennsylvania's reopening plan during COVID, a snapshot from 23 May 2020
A snapshot of COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, and Illinois on 29 September 2021
A snapshot of the spread of COVID cases and deaths in Pennsylvania on 29 April 2020
A snapshot of COVID-19 deaths in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, and Illinois on 29 April 2020
A snapshot of job losses in the US during the COVID-19 pandemic on 8 May 2020
A comparison of the flu deaths to those of COVID-19, a snapshot from October 2020

Adapting My Work for the Philadelphia Fed

A public service.

Produced daily each workday for the Bank website.

For three summers I oversaw my intern’s production of the series.

I learned research economists had incorporated my work into their monetary policy discussions at the Philadelphia Fed. After discussions with leadership, I designed and developed a series covering the Federal Reserve’s Third District my team and I produced daily each workday.

For the Philadelphia Fed, I initially provided a single choropleth map of the tri-state region covered by the Third District, the eastern two-thirds of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and all of Delaware. Following that success, I added a set of five graphics of daily new cases and deaths and seven-day rolling averages of each.

After the Research Department started producing research and analysis I advocated the Bank produce a sitewide COVID-19 content hub, incorporating Research Department data and analysis along with any additional work produced by other Bank departments.

A screenshot of the datagraphic landing page after its final update