Ask your COVID-19 questions at the CDD community event next Sunday

It’s a confusing, stressful time for those of us still following COVID-19 news and trying to avoid infection. Services like testing have become more limited, thanks to the end of the federal public health emergency, while changes in data availability make it harder to even recognize the ongoing risk.

I’d like to give you—readers of the COVID-19 Data Dispatch—an opportunity to share your concerns about this latest stage of the pandemic and connect with others who feel similarly. So, I’m hosting a community event: a live Q&A in a private Slack server.

Here’s how this will work. Next Sunday, June 11, at 5 PM Eastern time, I will log onto the private COVID-19 Data Dispatch Slack server. I’ll start a live audio chat in a channel labeled “community_events”, using Slack’s huddle feature.

Attendees will be able to ask questions through audio or through text, in the Slack channel, and I’ll try to answer them in both formats. I also hope that attendees will respond to each other’s questions and connect about shared challenges. Remaining COVID-19 cautious these days can be an isolating experience, and I hope this event will help folks find a bit of community.

I’ve tried using Slack for the COVID-19 Data Dispatch before; I actually created my server in early 2021, when I launched the publication’s independent website and financial support options. At the time, readers weren’t particularly interested in community discussions. But I suspect that may be different now, with the current phase of the pandemic—so I’m testing this out again. If the event next weekend goes well, I might make it a regular occurrence.

In order to keep the community event to a manageable size, I’m going to limit it to readers who have financially supported the COVID-19 Data Dispatch. If you’ve donated at any point in the last three years, please expect a Slack invitation in your email later this afternoon.

If you haven’t donated before but would like to attend the event, please do so before next Sunday. It can be any amount, and can be a one-time donation through my Ko-fi page or a reoccurring contribution through the website. I’ll also reserve a few spots for folks who would like to attend but are unable to donate right now—just email me to ask about that.

You can also email me with any logistical questions! I’m looking forward to the event and hope to hear from many of you there.

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