Abstract for: A Story-Telling Approach for Communicating COVID-19 Dynamics to the Public: The Diaries During and After Lockdown Project

Project Synopsis: In April of 2021 we began a project designed to communicate insights from a system dynamics model of the COVID-19 epidemic to a non-modeling audience. We began with a simulation model, CORONA1, built by Ali Mashayekhi and calibrated to Iran. Over the following months we added several modules addressing additional behavioral and public health policy concerns. We wrote and published 20 stories in a blog-like format under the title of “Diaries During Lockdown”. Another 6 were published as “Diaries After the Lockdown”. The current model exists as 11 modules that develop insights about the pandemic in a step-by-step process. We have experimented with several social media platforms and are currently engaged in an effort to transform the project into a curriculum aimed at system dynamics students. Focus of This Paper at the ISDC (1 of 4): We have prepared two applications papers and two work-in-progress papers to present this project at the 2021 ISDC. The four paper foci are (1) A Description of our overall story telling approach (this paper), (2) A presentation of the technical details of the 11 modules in our current model, (3) A report on several experiments with social media and online presentations, and (4) A proposal to develop an instruction curriculum aimed at students of system dynamics.