Three Melbourne teenagers inspire public with their COVID-19 data tracking website

COVID Base AU logo – Image used with permission of @COVIDBaseAU

For those in need of a feel-good COVID-19 story, this one from Oz should fit the bill.

The three people behind CovidBaseAU, one of the most successful Australian pandemic data website and Twitter account, have outed themselves. Guardian Australia explained the backstory:

It turns out one of the most authoritative Covid-19 tracking sites in Australia is run by three teenagers.

The team, who have been running CovidbaseAU, became part of their own statistics after getting their first doses of the Moderna vaccine in Melbourne.

CovidBaseAU presents daily data about the pandemic in Australia, including local case numbers, tests, hospitalisations, deaths and vaccinations. It has national and state figures.

Jack and Darcy are 15 years old and Wesley is 14. Their pinned tweet to celebrate getting their first shot of vaccine gave the game away:

There were over 1,400 replies to the tweet in the first few hours. This exchange shed some light on the three go-getters:

There were some high-powered congratulations, such as this tweet from public health professor Bill Bowtell:

The trio was interviewed by a fellow ‘numbers gremlin’, Casey Briggs, on ABC TV News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Briggs has been the ABC's regular TV data guru during the pandemic. His graphic presentations have won him a large loyal following on social media.

The ABC joked that the trio was ‘unmasking’ themselves, which they literally did in the video:

They explained that their homeschooling lessons during lockdowns in Melbourne have helped them with this project.

‘Data geek’ Ben Krauth celebrated the complexity of their work:

There were plenty of doses of humour:

They have a Patreon account if you'd like to become a patron.

Jack, Darcy and Wesley were overwhelmed by the response of their fellow Melburnians and well-wishers globally:

There was media coverage in several languages and from a far away as Ireland.

Anyway, we'll give them the last word:

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