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Real-time data are essential for Covid-19. They’re just as important for the opioid overdose crisis

New faculty and doctoral student portraits for the George Warren Brown School of Social Work Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012 at Washington University in St. Louis. (Photo © Whitney Curtis)

As the Covid-19 epidemic sweeps across the country leaving death and confusion in its wake, let’s not forget the other epidemic — opioid overdose deaths — that continues to do the same thing and that was until just a few months ago considered to be the greatest public health crisis of this generation.

I’m fascinated, and appalled, by one huge difference between them: data.

The curious, the worried, the obsessed, and the scientific community can follow the effects of Covid-19 in real time. There are a number of online dashboards tracking the outbreak worldwide as well as here in the United States.

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