This 17 Year Old Coded a Website Tracking Coronavirus That’s Used By +40 Million People


17-yr-old website coronavirus.jpg

His name is Avi Shiffman. He’s a junior in high school in Seatle, WA, who started a website back in December 2019 when the Coronavirus was still reportedly only in China with around 1,000 cases. As the outbreak has evolved into a global pandemic, this 17-year-old found a way to keep an updated record of every case, every death, and every recovered person from the COVID-19 virus.

The website is called nCoV2019.live, and has been visited by +40 million people worldwide. It includes an interactive map, information on COVID-19, and updates “every minute or so” (according to Avi), web scraping information from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, and other local government websites in 100s of countries.

Pretty impressive for a 17-year-old, right? So, how did he do it?

I just — I learned myself, just watching YouTube videos and just reading online kind of articles and things.

-Avi shiffman in an interview with democracy now

In an unprecedented time of global school closings, children are relying more than ever on the Internet to continue their education. With millions of resources for worksheets, activities, games, and quizzes making it easy for parents to keep children busy, sometimes kids learn most through self-discovery. In the case of Avi Shiffman, he plans on spending his extra time while out of school building on his website with more positive elements.

“I decided that it would be really cool if I could show how many people were recovering, to give people a more positive outlook and maybe more hope. So I added that to the quick facts. In every single country, you can see how many people have recovered, which I think gives people a lot of hope, because you can see, in places like Korea, I think, they reported more people that recovered today than people that had been infected, which is really big. And I’m also working on things like a vaccine tracker to continue making it more positive, because it shouldn’t have to be, you know, super negative and you only see the amount of people that have died.”

-Avi Shiffman with Democracynow.com

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