17-year-old student develops global tracker for COVID-19, now viewed by millions

  • A 17-year-old student created a website which incorporates all numbers across the globe on COVID-19
  • He wanted to provide a site to show the data accurately and avoid misinformation
  • He spends 6 hours daily to improve his website which now has millions of views

Figures play a significant role in giving us a clear picture of how COVID-19 has affected the world. Doctors, scientists, researchers, media, the government, and even ordinary citizens check on these numbers regularly to see updates.

Image via Avi Schiffmann | Instagram

Sometimes, we scroll on different sources because we can’t see everything on a single page. But thanks to this teenager who created a worldwide tracker which many of us are using now, tracking has become so much easier.

Yes, a 17-year-old high school senior – Avi Schiffmann from Washington  – created this website. His goal is to show accurate data because there is a lot of misinformation lately. The teenager who studies at Mercer Island High School spends 6 hours each day improving the website, which now has millions of views. He is a self-taught coder who usually joins hackathons and aims one day to do something big for this generation.

And yes, here it is.

With one look at the page, you will see COVID-19 figures from around the world. He launched this tool last December 2019, when all cases were still contained in China. It updates every ten minutes after collecting data from valid sources such as the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health departments from each country.

Screenshot of website

His site has continuously evolved with the help of 125 emails he receives every day. That gave way to adding data on people who have recovered after receiving feedback that his site was too negative. His recent update was adding the number of serious cases aside from confirmed, deceased and recovered. He wishes to incorporate a vaccine tracker in the future.

As he sees the data daily,  he is worried. He thinks some countries are managing it better than others while some seem to hide the real numbers so as not to create panic.

“There are tons of countries under-reporting their numbers not to freak out their population,” he told TODAY.

Nonetheless, he is happy that this tool has been useful to others, especially to those who would want to travel to another country and look for safety information.


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