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.

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.