We have been advocating for strategies that will help in this war against the pandemic. For example, here is our suggestion (submitted to the CDC) about how data can become a powerful weapon for combatting such a formidible and elusive enemy:
There is considerable variation in how infection by this coronavirus affects individuals. We know that age, sex, race, and comorbidities impact clinical outcomes. But we do not know much else. If everyone tested for COVID-19 filled out a brief online questionnaire before having either a molecular or antibody test, we could potentially learn what influences the range of response. They would document their demographics and any symptoms to date, along with the other data that might be correlated to disease severity. The key variables are medications, nutritional supplements, and vaccinations, which – unlike demographics – an individual can control. We would then track any clinical interventions and the eventual outcome. Perhaps, after controlling for relevant demographics, we find that there is a high correlation between daily fish oil capsules and minimal symptoms in those that test positive for having the disease. Or maybe it’s an inverse relationship. Or no relationship. Whatever the result, it will be publicized, so everyone can benefit from that knowledge. Even invisible threats can often be effectively managed with data analytics.