covid19.Explorer: a web application and R package to explore United States COVID-19 data

PeerJ. 2021 Aug 20;9:e11489. doi: 10.7717/peerj.11489. eCollection 2021.


Appearing at the end of 2019, a novel virus (later identified as SARS-CoV-2) was characterized in the city of Wuhan in Hubei Province, China. As of the time of writing, the disease caused by this virus (known as COVID-19) has already resulted in over three million deaths worldwide. SARS-CoV-2 infections and deaths, however, have been highly unevenly distributed among age groups, sexes, countries, and jurisdictions over the course of the pandemic. Herein, I present a tool (the covid19.Explorer R package and web application) that has been designed to explore and analyze publicly available United States COVID-19 infection and death data from the 2020/21 U.S. SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The analyses and visualizations that this R package and web application facilitate can help users better comprehend the geographic progress of the pandemic, the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions (such as lockdowns and other measures, which have varied widely among U.S. states), and the relative risks posed by COVID-19 to different age groups within the U.S. population. The end result is an interactive tool that will help its users develop an improved understanding of the temporal and geographic dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, accessible to lay people and scientists alike.

Keywords: Epidemiology; Infectious disease; SARS-CoV-2; Software.

Grant support

This research was funded by grants from the National Science Foundation (DBI-1759940) and FONDECYT, Chile (1201869). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.