The maths of COVID-19

Maths plays an essential role in fighting COVID-19, which is why the pandemic has featured a lot on Plus. Here is all our coverage at a glance. This page will be continually updated with new content.

Going back to uni during a pandemic — What can maths tell us about how to make universities safe from COVID-19?

Unlocking the workforce — How can we get back to work safely in the face of a lingering pandemic? Mathematicians have issued some guidelines for policy makers and employers.

The growth rate of COVID-19 — We all now know about R, the reproduction number of a disease. But sometimes it can be good to consider another number: the growth rate of an epidemic.

The problem with combining R ratios — We explore why you need to be extremely careful when combining the reproduction ratios of a disease in different settings, such as hospitals and the community.

Maths in a minute: R0 and herd immunity — What is herd immunity and how does it relate to the basic reproduction number of a disease?

The virus podcast — In this podcast we explore the famous curve, talk about how to communicate science in a crisis, and explain the maths of herd immunity in one minute.

How can maths fight a pandemic? — How do mathematical models of COVID-19 work and should we believe them? We talk to Julia Gog, an epidemiologist who has been working flat out to inform the government, to find out more.

A call to action on COVID-19 — An urgent call has gone out to the scientific modelling community to help fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Two Cambridge mathematicians are helping to lead the charge.

Finding a way out of lockdown — Mathematical models can help the nation return to (some sort of) normality.

Social distancing: How close is safe? — Mathematicians are investigating how we can keep safe as we emerge from lockdown, by seeing how far virus-carrying droplets can fly in different environments — from buses to supermarkets.

Artificial intelligence takes on COVID-19 — Mathematicians are helping to develop an AI tool to help with diagnosing COVID-19 and making prognoses for infected patients.

Communicating the coronavirus crisis — David Spiegelhalter, expert in risk and evidence communication, tells us how well the UK government has done so far communicating about Covid-19.

Taking the pandemic temperature — How do people in different countries feel about the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken by their governments?

Squashing the curve? — A study published in March by researchers from Imperial College suggested that measures against COVID-19 needed to be much more drastic than was previously hoped.

Maths in a minute: Social distancing — How should people arrange themselves for maximal socialising at a safe distance?

How to resolve the Premier League — As football leagues around the world have been suspended due to COVID-19, how should the final rankings of teams be decided? Here is a suggestion.

Was points per game fair? — With the Premier League finished for this year we check if the solution suggested in the previous article, and other ways the League could have been decided without playing the remaining matches, would have been fair.