It’s been a heck of a year. For us all. For me, for all of you readers, and for the whole Dear Pandemic team.
A year ago, I never could have anticipated where this would end up. The ol’ Magic 8-Ball doesn’t have a response that says “29-woman strong mostly volunteer team fighting the #infodemic alongside 140,000 readers across 7 social media channels.” It has really been a surprise around every corner.
There have been many, many terrible moments in the past year. But there have also been a lot of hopeful moments. Seeing this team come together around a message of science, kindness, and empowering women has truly given me hope. I want to say thank you to every member of the Dear Pandemic team and all the contributions you have made to the world over the last year. And those contributions are significant. They will go down in history. We have saved lives–I believe that.
And I want to thank our readers. I see you. You’re the woman at the center of your family’s world. Sifting through all the information, doing the worrying. Finding the best mask. Making rows of clips on the wall to keep them clean. Doing your best to deal with paid work demands in the absence of childcare; or making difficult career decisions. Trying to predict the future so you can make a plan. Breaking the news about canceled vacations. Visiting parents through closed windows, or not visiting at all to keep them safe. Figuring out whether the fan should point in or out. Deciding if it’s worth it to sanitize your groceries. Spending hours booking your parents’ vaccine appointments. Wondering when the kids will get vaccinated, if they’ll be OK in the meantime.
I know. I’m right there with you.
Yesterday, Dear Pandemic was featured in a major media outlet, Fortune.com’s The Broadsheet, whose tagline is “The daily dish on the world’s most powerful women.” It was thrilling to be featured like this. (Also, my yarn stash got a mention in NatGeo, for all you fiber people out there.)
The tagline got me thinking about women and power. You, dear reader, are the person who is making an impact in your families’ health. You are taking on the extra responsibilities to get the damn job done. To respond to the situation the best way you can figure out. To get everyone through this to the other side. We write the content, but we rely on you to be the trusted nodes of information in your own networks and fight the tide of bad information. So, thank you for using your power for good.
It’s been a whole year of living in a state of emergency, and we’re exhausted. We know you are too. Here’s to a brighter, kinder, and much more predictable 2021.
Malia Jones, PhD, MPH
Editor-in-Chief, Dear Pandemic
ps. A few months ago, I wrote down the origin story of Dear Pandemic. Here it is, for your reading enjoyment.