Data sets related to COVID-19 are everywhere. Cases, deaths, tests, hospital admissions, just to name a few. Now, researchers in the Mountain West are collecting personal stories to get a fuller understanding of the virus.
Tamara Wall, a social scientist at the Desert Research Institute in Nevada, is part of a team collecting stories from people around the world about their experiences with COVID-19.
“We wanted to design an opportunity to capture those individual stories and then visualize those collective patterns, so we could learn from those patterns and then hopefully use that information to help us make better decisions going forward,” Wall said.
Patterns like whether people valued clarity from their leaders, or bold action, or timeliness, or something else.
“Just for example, one of the story prompts is, ‘There’s been a huge amount of advice coming from everybody and everywhere about COVID-19. What has been the impact of this for you? Please share a story about how you have responded, whether tuning out or carefully following it all?’ ”
Overall, the goal of the study, Wall said, is to collect as many stories as possible from around the world, so researchers can more easily identify strengths and weaknesses in how future crises might be handled.
The project is live, and will soon be translated into Spanish and French. You can share your story with the research team here.
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Do you have questions about COVID-19? How has this crisis affected you? Our reporters would love to hear from you. You can submit your question or share your story here.