"Avi Schiffmann, 17, set out to improve the exchange of information on Covid-19 and decoupling statistics from political interference and distortion. In doing so, he created such an accurate resource that epidemiologists themselves relied on his information to develop their models. "
These words correspond to none other than Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web, who wrote a couple of months ago about young activists who, from his point of view, are "leading by example the use of the web to create a more just future."
The Web Foundation, chaired by Berners-Lee himself, recently launched a campaign to celebrate the example of Schiffmann and other '#WebChampions'. He thanked him for using the Web "to make vital information free and easily accessible":
But who is Avi Schiffmann? A year ago we talked about him in Genbeta for having rejected an offer of eight million dollars for his website, the popular 'tracker' nCoV2019.live.
"I'm only 17 years old, I don't need 8 million dollars... I don't want to be a speculator, "he said, while explaining that his refusal to insert advertising on the web had also caused him to lose another 30 million dollars.
But what has become of him in the last year?
Wow can't believe an entire year has passed already https://t.co/PfFmL0L2D5- Avi Schiffmann (@AviSchiffmann) March 18, 2021
Everything I know about programming I learned from the web - on YouTube, there are web development tutorials that can teach you just about everything you need to know. […] You can change the world without leaving your bedroom. "
A year in the life of a young 'web champion'
Well, just one day after we published our article on his case, He was awarded the Person of the Year Award at the Weeby Awards. After that, Schiffmann has continued to maintain and improve his popular website, adding new information to it such as official vaccination figures worldwide:
"There are many things I would like to add, but as time passes I have moved on to work on other projects [...] But at one point you could easily add new things.
For example, I was thinking of adding something that would track down all the top government officials who got sick, when that was a big problem. "
I have some ideas for simple projects like an app to help my friends quit vaping, or a platform to manage partnerships. But I'm always jumping from one idea to another. "
But Schiffmann's link to Covid-19 has not come from the hand only of his website: he himself was diagnosed with the disease last October, having already turned 18 years old. He stated then that the effects were being quite unpleasant and was concerned about possible consequences:
"Hopefully it sends a message to other people my age who think that all of us are invincible. Because actually I thought that too."
Shortly before that, he was involved in web projects related to the 'Black Lives Matter' movement and on US electoral information ...
… And now he's about to graduate from Mercer Island High School in Seattle, and he has already announced that next fall he will begin his university stage at Harvard.
I am extremely excited to announce that I will be attending Harvard this fall, thank you to everyone for making this a reality! 🥳- Avi Schiffmann (@AviSchiffmann) April 11, 2021
And what has happened to the world in the last year?
A comparison Between what the nCoV2019.live dashboard looked like on the day of our previous article on Schiffmann and what it looks like today also give us an idea of how much the world has changed in the last year: