Since the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought destruction on lives and livelihoods — with millions across the world having lost their lives and billions being touched in one way or another – it is currently the focus of our Healthy Communities Forecasting Cause.
The global pandemic has highlighted the danger posed by pathogens with pandemic potential and the need to build resilient community and societal infrastructure and support systems. This is a space for forecasters interested in these topics, and in particular the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic: its epidemiological trajectory, the shifting landscape of variants, vaccine administration and distribution, the pandemic's economic and societal impacts, and more.
We have helped address various aspects of the pandemic in tournaments over the past year — including the Li Wenliang Forecasting Tournament, the ongoing Salk Tournament and recently-completed Consensus Forecasting to Improve Public Health Tournament. We have also produced several write-ups that bring together forecasts by our community to tell a story, as in an article we've written on how SARS-CoV-2 variants are defining this next phase of the pandemic. We are bringing these efforts together under a cause that includes the ongoing Keep Virginia Safe Tournament — which is a part of our exciting partnership with the Virginia Department of Health — as well as the FluSight Forecasting Challenge, a partnership with Lehigh University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst that generates forecasts of flu season severity. Since the beginning of the pandemic, flu counts have been low, but this is changing, and a spiking influenza season will tax already stressed public health infrastructure. Forecasts across these tournaments will help inform the decision-making of public health officials who are weighing key decisions as they work to protect their communities.
You can participate in a number of valuable ways:
- Share your expertise, brainstorm, write questions for forecasting, and update the community with the latest research
- Join the VDH Tournament and the FluSight Forecasting Challenge and make forecasts
- Increase forecaster rewards by becoming a Supporter