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Event Risk Calculator - Coronavirus

Created by Łucja Zaborowska, MD, PhD candidate and Steven Wooding
Reviewed by Jack Bowater
Last updated: May 14, 2024

Are you going to attend or host an event during the COVID-19 era? Are you one of the 56.6 million students that are going back to school? Do you know the risk of continuing life as normal? 🤧

There are over 18.6 million people worldwide with an active COVID-19 infection. The situation is changing rapidly, and none of us know what the future will really look like. However, the show must go on - we all need face-to-face human interaction and bits of normal life back 🥳

This is why public events are back on the cards! We decided to build this event planning tool to help you enjoy your life safely and to decide consciously what risks you're willing to take when attending smaller or larger venues.

How dangerous are big events?

  • 🏫 Public schools are going to be open again - the general assumption is that children are more resistant to coronavirus, pupils don't need to be hospitalized as often as adults. Their illness usually takes a milder course too - only 1% of COVID-19 patients in Italy were children, and only 11% of them required medical assistance.

    However, children can spread the virus as efficiently as grown-ups. It may pose a significant risk to those living in the same household, especially those that are older and more vulnerable to the disease.

    The risk is even higher if the schools have not prepared social distancing measures, the facilities lack essential hygiene equipment (such as a sufficient number of sinks, soap, hand sanitizer, etc), and people are too close together to social distance.

  • 🎂 Public outdoor events' risk depends mostly on the distance between the participants and the use of masks. Our coronavirus mask calculator can help you make an informed decision about the kind of mask you need to protect yourself. We also need to consider the number of infected people in the given area. The scientists are still testing the spreading of COVID-19 - they're even organizing free shows for volunteers to check how many of them will get infected!

How did we build our event planning calculator?

The number of infected people at an event depends on a variety of factors:

  1. We first check your location to find out how many active cases there are at the moment. We add up the number of new cases that have been detected in the last 14 days (this is the duration of a typical COVID-19 infection) to calculate the number of active cases.

    We download and update our data every day, so you'll always have the most accurate information. (You can check whether your data is accurate by looking at the bottom of the calculator).

  2. Then we focus on computing the number of hidden cases - cases that are symptomless or too mild to be detected and/or hospitalized. This way, we can compute the total number of infected people in your area.

    We used math and information from this research paper on the identification and estimation of undetected COVID-19 cases. Its main conclusion is that 80% of infected people will not get tested due to limited testing opportunities. That means that for every detected case, there will be four undetected cases.

  3. The size of your event allows us to calculate the exact number of infected people who will probably attend the event.

💡 We set the hidden case multiplier to 4. If you want to change it, visit the advance mode. The hidden case multiplier is basically the ratio of hidden cases to detected cases.

How to stay safer in a crowd?

Have you ever heard of the birthday paradox? 🎉 Check out our birthday paradox calculator to know more!

It may seem surprising, but there's almost a 100% chance that in a group of 48 people, there is one person that has their birthday on the exact same day as someone else in the group. With 365 days in a year, this probability sounds insanely incredible.

When we apply that paradox to COVID-19 infections, we may realize that we're not as safe as we think. We know that the risk may be high - but what can we do about it?

  1. The simple truth - avoiding crowds still remains the best solution of all.

  2. Treat all the people around you as if they have the infection.

    Most cases are undetected. That little girl sitting next to you may also be a carrier!

  3. Stick to the small group of people you're attending the event with.

    Keep an eye on yourselves and avoid close contact with other people.

  4. Avoid touching elements of public space.

    • Your elbow is just great for opening doors and keeping your hands clean. 😉
    • If other people have access to your cutlery - remember to disinfect it first.
  5. Learn how to breathe through your nose 👃

    Sounds easy? Not everyone is used to breathing correctly, especially when exercising: inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. That's the healthier and safer way to do it - our noses are designed to moisturize and cleanse the air we breathe, lowering the chances of any infection.

  6. Wear a mask 😷

    It may sound trivial, but masks do protect people. Wearing a mask is not only a sign of caring for your own health - but it's also a sign of caring for others. Let's hope everyone will do the same.

Łucja Zaborowska, MD, PhD candidate and Steven Wooding
Planning an event? Going back to school? Check how COVID-19 will spread at gatherings 🏟
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