I recently wrapped up a big project over here at the COVID-19 Data Dispatch. (In case you missed it: I profiled five school communities that had successful reopenings in 2020-2021. Check out the project here!) Now that it’s done, I’ve been doing a bit of reflecting on the next steps for this publication—specifically, what I’d like it to look like one year from now.
My mission here is to provide you, my readers, with the information you need to understand what’s going on with COVID-19 in your community. I’m committed to covering the pandemic, for as long as it remains the number one health and science story in America.
But what happens when COVID-19 is no longer the number one health and science story in America? I started to consider this question early in summer 2021, before Delta came roaring in—and made many people realize that we were still pretty far away from the “end of the pandemic.” Delta allowed me to procrastinate, basically. But this is the kind of question one can only put off for so long, so here I am, considering it again.
As I think about the COVID-19 Data Dispatch’s future, I’m thinking about everything that this country needs to do in preparation for the next public health crisis. Because there will be a next public health crisis—in fact, climate change is already producing a never-ending stream of crises all around us. What information do we need, and what data-driven stories can we tell, to get ready? How can I serve my fellow journalists, scientists, health experts, and the other people in my community?
To help me figure this out, I’ve put together a survey for you, dear readers! It should be easy to fill out: 10 questions, mostly multiple choice. It can be done on a computer or a phone, and shouldn’t take you more than five minutes.
If the widget above doesn’t load, go to this link to fill out the survey: https://form.typeform.com/to/YOlZ2zB4