Three teenage boys from Melbourne have revealed themselves as the brains behind one of Australia’s leading online Covid trackers.
The website CovidBaseAU has been up and running since April 2021, providing statistics and tracking of the Coronavirus both within Australia and globally. Its layout is straight-forward and easy to browse, showing collated data and updates on the pandemic. It also provides Australian users with updated information and details on vaccinations, cases, tests, hospitalisations, deaths and a Covid timeline.
Because of its efficient design and daily-updated information, the website quickly gained country-wide recognition as a reliable source of information on Covid.
Its popularity went through the roof when the three teenagers decided to reveal their identity as the brains behind the online tracker. 15-year old Jack and his friends/teammates Wesley (14) and Darcy (15) decided to reveal their identities via Twitter on the 23rd of September 2021. The tweet shows a photo of the trio, showing off their inoculated shoulders while holding up their vaccination cards to the camera.
The Twitter post reads:
“BOOM! 12-15s can get the (vaccine)
Today the three of us who run @covidbaseau, Jack, Wesley and Darcy, had our first dose of the Moderna vaccine.
Thought this would be a good time to share who we really are.
Thrilled that we will finally be included in our data!”
The teenage trio kept themselves anonymous for months, waiting for the best time to reveal their identities to the world. And they chose well! Their tweet instantly gained thousands of likes and has been retweeted 2.5 thousand times.
After their timely reveal on social media, the trio was interviewed on ABC TV News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) by fellow number-cruncher, Casey Briggs. Briggs has been a regular on the network, providing data analysis and graphic presentations on the pandemic.
In the interview, Briggs commented, “…I had no idea who was behind this website, but they have ‘unmasked’ themselves. And it turns out, they’re a gang of youths!”
When asked how they started the website, Jack explained, “Last year, I sort of, just personally tracked the data myself, just for fun. Darcy’s really skilled with coding and I’m really into the news and really interested in the data. So we’ve decided to take what we’ve been doing and create something with it…”
Jack added, “We spent a lot of time on it to try and make it as comprehensive as possible.”
When asked why he wanted to get involved with the website, Darcy explained, “The government’s released data in all sorts of different places and in different formats. When Jack was collecting all this data, I helped him put it together and display it on a website so it’s accessible for everyone.”
When asked about the people’s reaction on their Twitter post, Wesley smiled and said, “It was really cool. We didn’t expect it to, kind of, blow up that fast. But yeah, the support’s been amazing.”
Since the 27th of August, Australia has approved the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines for children aged 12-15 years.