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COVID-19 Timeline Project

Prelude <> Nov/Dec 2019 <> January 2020 <> February <> March <> April <> May <> June <> July <> August <> September <> Source Data

Source Data and References

I’ve built this timeline from a set of notes I maintain on a daily basis as new information becomes available. I make these notes available under a creative commons license to anyone wishing to do their own research. If you have information you’d like to add, or think is significant to be included in my timeline please contact me. If you’d like to build your own timeline using my notes as basis – please let me know and I’ll add a link to this page.

These notes are in MS Excel format and now include several worksheets. My current version of notes contains additional reference information and correct some erroneous information over previous versions of timeline notes. I update my download link with a new version of my notes as time and new content dictate (I try for a monthly refresh).

I truly believe this pandemic will be seen by future generations as a pivotal moment in the 21st Century; an event that results in massive paradigm changes to society. This timeline project is my tiny contribution to documenting this event.

Request to Grammar Police; These are working notes, not a college term paper. Meaning, there are grammar errors and even mis-spelled words in these notes – so please don’t contact me to complain !

Ron Charest

Coronavirus Timeline Working Notes – Current Version

Significant References

I want to include some significant references that I’ve located during my research. These are in my downloadable Coronavirus Timeline Working notes, but I also want to post them here for increased visibility and access.

Definitive Government After-Actions Report

Historically Unprepared Examination of the Federal Government’s Pandemic Preparedness and Initial COVID-19 Response
Published in December 2022, U.S. Senator Gary Peters, Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, directed Majority Committee staff to investigate the federal government’s initial actions in response to the evolving COVID-19 threat, evaluate the sufficiency of those actions, and propose recommendations to strengthen federal readiness for future public health crises. This report examines the federal government’s initial actions as the novel coronavirus threat emerged in late 2019 and early federal response efforts through March 2020 as the virus quickly spread throughout the U.S. and around the world. The report details the Committee’s findings and recommendations following an almost two year review.

Coronavirus-specific Data Sources:

  • Covid Exit
    • A site operated by a group of public health and crisis experts with former experience working at the White House, Department of Health and Human Services, and on the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Provides an excellent visualization of state-by-state status of containment.
  • ForecastHub
    • The COVID-19 Forecast Hub serves as a central repository of forecasts and predictions from over 30 international research groups. Founded in March 2020 by the Reich Lab of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and has been supported since then by a small but dedicated group of faculty, post-docs, and students from UMass, Iowa State, Carnegie Mellon, and international research groups. 
  • IHME Projections Site
    • COVID-19 epidemic model which has become the canonical model for many states and hospitals.
  • Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey
    • Most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world.
  • John Hopkins Testing Trends Tool
    • Part of the John Hopkins site, this section offers test trends and insights in easy-to-follow charts for the United States.
  • Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
    • A weekly publication of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Our World in Data: Research and Data on the Coronavirus Pandemic
    • An incredible source of coronavirus data offered in a number of interactive graphs. Their source data is available under a creative commons license for download as a CSV file.
    • Provided by a team at the Scripps Research Center Institute in La Jolla specializing in bioinformatics. The data has been developed for uniform formats.
  • The Covid Tracking Project
    • Compiles raw data from states into daily statistics on COVID-19 reports.
  • Track The Recovery
    • A first of it’s kind data analysis of the economic impact on Americans as a result of the pandemic. This tool allows users to drill down to the zip code level to see financial impacts. This tool is a project of microeconomist Raj Chetty.
  • World Health Organization: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard
    • A continuously updated interactive global map showing COVID-19 cases by country, with historical trends.
  • World Health Organization (WHO): Daily Coronavirus Sitreps
    • The WHOs complete archive of all Situational Reports (Sitreps) issued on the Coronavirus.
    • Extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — and discussion of data.
  • USA Facts – Coronavirus Locations: COVID-19 Map by County and State
    • Another continuously updated report of COVID-19 cases across the United States, using a visual map for state level reports. Their source data is available under a creative commons license for download as a CSV file.

Archives of Useful Coronavirus-relevant Reference Data:

  • Archive of Presidential Press Briefings
    • All press briefings given by President Trump during his term in office. Note that these archives only provide text. The only video archives I have located for press briefings are those recorded by news organizations and uploaded into YouTube.
  • Just Security: Timeline of the Coronavirus Pandemic and U.S. Response
    • A comprehensive timeline focused on the U.S. government’s preparation for a pandemic, tracking warning signals of COVID-19, public and internal responses when the outbreak hit inside the United States. Periodically updated.
  • Wikipedia: COVID-19 pandemic by country and territory
    • A comprehensive list of COVID-19 status of all recognized nations and territories, with links to the individual country/territory pages. This was my start point for capturing global Coronavirus data in this timeline.
  • Wikipedia: COVID-19 pandemic in the United States
    • A comprehensive entry on the COVID-19 in the United States, with links to the pages for each state. This was my initial data source for Coronavirus cases / deaths in the United States. I originally chose this source for my timeline as it provides an easy-to-track cumulative national-level report. However, I switched to a different source starting in June as I found the Wikipedia data consistently reported the lowest daily counts of all the data sources I was monitoring.
  • World Health Organization Timeline of Response to COVID-19
    • WHO provides this timeline of the organization’s COVID-19 response activities for general information. It is not intended to be exhaustive and does not contain details of every event or WHO activity.

Articles of Significant Importance in Explaining this Pandemic


All icons used in this project are royalty-free images provided by Icon Finder.

Prelude <> Nov/Dec 2019 <> January 2020 <> February <> March <> April <> May <> June <> July <> August <> September <> Source Data

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