Where should LessWrong go on COVID?

by Elizabeth1 min read13th Apr 202022 comments


CoronavirusSite Meta

About 6 weeks ago the LW team chose to go really hard on COVID-19 (including contracting with me), for reasons discussed here. The time for that seems to be winding down; people-besides-me are asking fewer covid questions and more non-covid questions, my posts get fewer comments every day, and there's not the same urgency adding to the links DB. Looking at people I know in the real world seems much the same: after a mad sprint to prep and then adjust to covid, people are settling in and catching up on the rest of their lives. So I and the LessWrong team are taking this moment to reevaluate what LessWrong’s role in covid response should be.

My question for you is: where do we go from here? Should we slip back to normal, except with a covid section? Relegate covid work to personal posts since it’s not timeless? Do you want practical posts like “how to disinfect a mask?”, or big picture things like “what does the world look like in a year?”?

What would help you, specifically, right now? In a month? In a year?

Answers I’ve gotten from people I polled before posting:

  • Answer questions with answers that can probably be synthesized from academic papers, e.g., “What is my risk from delivery food, given a certain prevalence?”
  • Answer questions informing near-term behavior, e.g., “How do you tell when it's time in your specific region to start relaxing your protocols?” and “Which specific things do we think will be instant vectors the moment things open up?”
  • Creates guides for questions about long-term behavior, e.g., “should plan on hibernating for a year and returning to my job, or retool for something entirely different?”, “should I move out of [major metropolitan answer] for a year?”, and “should I move to a more functional country forever?”
  • Dataset on politicians/leaders/journalists etc evaluating how they handled covid
  • A map of current efforts
  • DB of coronavirus data sets

And remember that if you're entirely sick of this, you can use the new filter tool on the frontpage to make sure you never see covid content.