Added November 2020

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 (COronaVIrus Disease 2019) is a disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. Common symptoms include fever, dry cough, and fatigue, which can lead to pneumonia. The virus, which likely originated in bats, was first identified in Wuhan, China on 31 Dec 2019.

The infection fatality rate is ~1%, much greater than that of seasonal influenza. The risk is mostly concentrated in people in their 70s and 80s. There may be 2m confirmed deaths by the end of 2020. This would make it one of the leading causes of death in 2020.

How are countries responding?

To slow the spread of the virus, countries are using social distancing rules, travel restrictions, and testing and tracing.

These restrictions have led to a global recession rivaling the Great Depression. The IMF predicts that world GDP will shrink by 4% in 2020 (it normally grows 2–4% per year).

Social distancing restrictions will likely continue until vaccines or effective treatments are available and widely distributed.

Resources: Our World in Data, Good Judgment, Metaculus