By Synectics

Visualizing the impact of COVID-19 and Opioid Crisis

There is no doubt that COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted nearly every aspect of our day-to-day life with a considerable death toll, but other serious concern we face every year is the uprising cases of Opioid overdose and the subsequent death occurring due to it. While must of the attention is over Covid-19, the Synectics Innovation Lab Team has taken on the task to analyze the COVID-19 and Drug Overdose data in the state of Virginia and visualize the trends to spread public awareness which ultimately will help researchers and government leaders to make decisions.


The main objective of the analysis is to get insights on the correlation between death occurred due to Opioid overdose and the deaths occurred due to Covid-19 pandemic and create a visual picture of this data. Using data from the “Virginia Department of Health” and “John Hopkins University”, we found that there was a spike in opioid deaths after the start of the pandemic in the United States. “Data.World” and

Data Visualization:

We used Tableau Public as our data visualization tool which is a free software that can allow anyone to connect to a spreadsheet or file and create interactive data visualizations for the web. The ability to have this connection makes it easier to refresh dashboards with new data every day.

The Visualization shows death occurred due to Opioid overdose for the prior years between 2015 to 2018 and the deaths occurred due to the Covid-19 pandemic in the state of Virginia for the year 2020.

One quick observation we could make out is the highest percentage of deaths for both the cases happens to be in the same counties in Virginia. This also is an attempt to showcase large amounts of data while making the information easy to understand. Based on the available data, we were able to create visualizations that show the following at the state and at a county level:

  • Total confirmed Covid-19 cases in VA
  • Total deaths in VA
  • Total deaths in VA due to each drug class
  • Total cases by County
  • Growth curve for VA

Building this interactive visualization allows users to filter data by categories such as dates, county, and type of cases. It also provides a greater statistical analysis on different counties where there is greater impact of drug overdose and Covid-19 spread.

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