“The only thing to fear is fear itself” was stupid advice.

Sure, don’t hoard toilet paper – but if policymakers fear fear itself, they’ll downplay real dangers to avoid “mass panic”. Fear’s not the problem, it’s how we channel our fear. Fear gives us energy to deal with dangers now, and prepare for dangers later.

Honestly, we (Marcel, epidemiologist + Nicky, art/code) are worried. We bet you are, too! That’s why we’ve channelled our fear into making these playable simulations, so that you can channel your fear into understanding:

  • The Last Few Months (epidemiology 101, SEIR model, R & R0)
  • The Next Few Months (lockdowns, contact tracing, masks)
  • The Next Few Years (loss of immunity? no vaccine?)

This guide (published May 1st, 2020. click this footnote!→) is meant to give you hope and fear. To beat COVID-19 in a way that also protects our mental & financial health, we need optimism to create plans, and pessimism to create backup plans. As Gladys Bronwyn Stern once said, “The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute.”

So, buckle in: we’re about to experience some turbulence.