We’re two data journalists who have been covering COVID-19 for the past year. Ask us anything!
I’m Betsy Ladyzhets, a data journalist and science writer. I run the [COVID-19 Data Dispatch](v ), an independent publication covering on all the ins and outs of tracking the pandemic. Since last July, I’ve put out an issue every week, covering everything from why contact tracing hasn’t worked in the U.S. to why I feel personally victimized by certain state dashboards. ( Subscribe here! ) I also manage science and health coverage at the online data journalism outlet Stacker and am a data entry volunteer at the COVID Tracking Project. I live in Brooklyn, NY, and would have a lot of nasty words for Andrew Cuomo if I ever got the chance to attend one of his briefings. (Quick disclaimer: Though I volunteer for the COVID Tracking Project, my publication is completely separate, reflects only my own reporting, and doesn’t communicate on behalf of the Project in any way. Same goes for this AMA.)
I’m Benjy Renton, a data journalist, researcher and student at Middlebury College. I have been reporting on and researching the pandemic since last January, when I was studying abroad in China and experienced the beginning of the outbreak first-hand. Since April, I’ve been publishing a weekly newsletter on the national trajectory of the pandemic and its effects on higher education. Most recently, I have been working on tracking vaccine allocations, distributions and administrations.
EDIT, 2:41 PM Thank you for all of the great questions! Betsy is heading out (she has a COVID Tracking Project shift to get to), while Benjy will stick around and answer a few more.