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Hours ago from home isolation Rob and Howie recorded an episode on:

  1. How many could die in the coronavirus crisis, and the risk to your health personally.
  2. What individuals might be able to do.
  3. What we suspect governments should do.
  4. The properties of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the importance of not contributing to its spread, and how you can reduce your chance of catching it.
  5. The ways some societies have screwed up, which countries have been doing better than others, how we can avoid this happening again, and why we’re optimistic.

We’ve rushed this episode out, accepting a higher risk of errors, in order to share information as quickly as possible about a very fast-moving situation.

We’ve compiled 70 links below to projects you could get involved with, as well as academic papers and other resources to understand the situation and what’s needed to fix it.

A rough transcript is also available.

Please also see our ‘problem profile’ on global catastrophic biological risks for information on these grave risks and how you can contribute to preventing them.

For more see the COVID-19 landing page on our site. You can also keep up to date by following Rob and 80,000 Hours’ Twitter feeds.

Get this episode by subscribing to our podcast on the world’s most pressing problems and how to solve them: type 80,000 Hours into your podcasting app.

Producer: Keiran Harris.

Articles, books, and other media discussed in the show

Academic resources

Approaches of specific countries

Dashboards, models, figures and data analysis

Projects being undertaken by individuals and groups

Highly simplified explanations for rapid understanding

Pharmaceutical and medical interventions


One: Estimates of fatality and hospitalisation rates by age

Two: Do you have COVID, or is it more likely something else?
Note: In the time since this graphic was created, we’ve heard preliminary reports that diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues may be the primary early symptoms for a moderate number of patients.

Three: A simple visualisation of exponential growth

Other news stories lifted from Hacker News that may be useful

Wikipedia on country outbreaks

Government resources

See also this list of resources from the folks at LessWrong.

Related episodes

About the show

The 80,000 Hours Podcast features unusually in-depth conversations about the world's most pressing problems and how you can use your career to solve them. We invite guests pursuing a wide range of career paths — from academics and activists to entrepreneurs and policymakers — to analyse the case for and against working on different issues and which approaches are best for solving them.

The 80,000 Hours Podcast is produced and edited by Keiran Harris. Get in touch with feedback or guest suggestions by emailing [email protected].

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