02 Mar UW Professor Malia Jones becomes the nation’s go-to COVID-19 expert with “Dear Pandemic”
UW epidemiologist Malia Jones was in Iceland when COVID-19 struck. On her return, she anticipated a lockdown and time to catch up on work. Maybe she’d do some knitting.
The country had other plans for her. Anxious family and friends reached out for clarity in the face of an unknown disease, and her emailed response went, well, viral: Jones became a pandemic expert overnight, a sought-out source to calm the nerves of a nation unprepared. As questions crowded her inbox, Jones turned to colleagues in public health — a team self-dubbed “those nerdy girls.” Their online platform, dearpandemic.org, is a hub of knowledge ranging from how to navigate pandemic life to the science behind the virus.