WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Washington Post (WAPO) has published a simulation feature that shows how contagious diseases are able to spread so rapidly across a community or the globe.
WAPO’s Senior Publicist Azhar AlFadl Miranda told The Arab American News that the feature has become very popular, and that readers find it helpful in understanding how the coronavirus is spreading globally and what role they can play in “flattening the curve.”
The feature is also available in Arabic. WAPO has made the feature free to all readers.
The simulations show the spread of an infection among a certain population using a randomized computer model. Dots denoting healthy, sick and recovered people move randomly on a screen, bouncing off of each other, under different scenarios which increase or decrease the magnitude of a spread.
The simulations use a fictional virus called “Simulitis”, eventually showing how the chances of it spreading dramatically decrease with even moderate social distancing. WAPO clarifies that this fictional virus is not COVID-19, and that the simulations “vastly simplify the complexity of real life.” Nevertheless, the simulations are informative in understanding how distancing techniques can vastly impact the spread of diseases.
The English language version of the feature is available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/corona-simulator/