The COVID Response Project has taken up most of my time (and money) the last two months, and we're finally in a place to accept donations.

Help us gather the on-the-ground details of COVID Response for all 50 states
We have 10 interviews in 8 states (AL, CA, MI, NY, OH, TX, VA, WA) so far and every new person I talk to gives a new twist on how COVID has hit their area and how the people and governments have responded to it.
Jeff from AL gave us a lot of insight into schools and particularly into how masking requirements for high school sports (like cross country) have been a meet-by-meet situation…
Lief from San Diego, CA talks about how religious services have moved entirely outdoors, but wanted to make a special note that the uncertain "open-closed-open-closed" nature of lockdowns has caused a lot of small businesses to simply hand up their hats…
Nate in Michigan talks a life outside of a big city in Michigan, but has also been doing a lot of business travel during this time and gives us some insight into how slowly a return to air travel has come…
In some states, one interview isn't going to be enough. We have three interviews from New York: Brooklyn, upstate, &suburban NYC

Tova gave a most fascinating account of the crisis as seen from the perspective of an orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn…
Ethan from Ohio talks about how many people in his state were on-board with restrictions and willing to bear with them... until it became increasingly apparent that the metrics Ohio was using to apply restrictions didn't seem to track to the lived reality
Mark from Texas describes a wide range of responses within a single state. His account of the Fort Worth area seems more like suburban Seattle than rural Georgia

He notes that the pandemic may have permanently changed the reality of face-to-face therapy…
Tyler from Virginia was a delight to talk to, especially for his insight running his business as a private chef.

He notes how people are willing to pay a hefty premium to take their dining experience out of institutional hands & bring it into their home…
With the exception of people who refused compensation, I've paid every interviewee out of my own pocket. Gathering this data is hard work & hard work deserves compensation.

That's why we're raising money. You can help us.
We're in the process of gathering 26 more interviews, hiring a writer to create time-code based interview summaries, and finding the best way to make this data more quantitative and accessible for further third party research.
I'm really looking forward to building this project out into a rich source of on-the-ground information about how this pandemic played out region-by-region.

The US is a big place filled with a wide variety of people & I'm eager to hear all their stories.

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More from @politicalmath

5 May
An ill-advised, self-reflective thread on my twitter persona

It is clear that I simply do not have the temperament or political persuasion to appeal very much past my existing reach

I appeal to a niche (nice to have you!) but I'll never expand beyond that

This thread shows why
For years, this account appealed to technocratic center-right libertarian-ish types

I was a futurist "stay ahead or get left behind" sort of person for many years

But something in the Trump era changed that

I was deeply anti-Trump, I found him repulsive and horrific as a candidate in 2016

I still deeply dislike him…
Read 16 tweets
4 May
ok... so this is another good example of state leadership

Yesterday, I said that expected that King County (where I live) was going to move *backward* a phase (from phase 3 to phase 2) b/c that's what our public health officer said would happen /1

Governor Inslee apparently disagreed with the public health officer and, despite the fact that King County isn't "hitting our metrics" for COVID, Inslee is keeping us in Phase 3 (pausing all phase movements for 2 weeks)…
This mirrors Gov Whitmer's decision to say to public health experts "thank you for your advice, it is duly considered. We will not be locking down again"

Read 6 tweets
4 May
Help support the COVID Response Project, a citizen journalism initiative focused on capturing the details of how different states and regions responded to the COVID pandemic…
Come hear from Tova of Brooklyn, NY and how the Orthodox Jewish community there were living in fear of the COVID inspectors who would interrupt schools and wait outside synagogues for hours hoping to catch illicit prayer meetings…
Join my conversation with @Tremorden, who points out that it wasn't so much the pandemic itself as the open-closed-open-closed see-saw of California restrictions that drive many small business into the ground…
Read 5 tweets
3 May
Having read the underlying study, I have to say I'm not particularly impressed. This data is super noisy & not at all consistent.
"It’s also important to note that those low rates of children transmitting COVID-19 are very dependent on behavioral modifications — in particular, wearing masks indoors."

Really? Is it? B/c here's the mitigation chart from the study you're citing.… Image
I feel like people just say "masking is correlated with reduced COVID transmission in children" b/c they're afraid if they don't say that people will get angry at them

I still just do not see the data on that being consistent enough to make the case either for or against
Read 4 tweets
3 May
I wrote something I think is important, but it's behind my newsletter paywall, so you're either going to have to fill in the blanks from this thread or just subscribe…
Everyone changes their minds in the course of their lives, but it's hard to know how and why. A lot of politics is about lying to people b/c changing minds is hard and lying is easy.

But we know people will soon change their minds about some very specific stuff
Researchers should be tripping over each other to study this. This is a unique moment to watch people change their minds about things in real time. If we set up a good study, we can watch week by week as people shift from "this is a bad idea" to "it's ok now" to "let's do it"
Read 6 tweets
3 May
Thinking out loud:

I get the dunk-tastic night against Jonah Goldberg b/c he did say Glenn Kessler might do things differently if he had another chance and then Glenn basically said "fuck you Jonah" by doubling down on his racist idiocy...

There is a change I sense in the air

Once you could say "I like this guy, but he's wrong" and you could pull together a political coalition around the phrase "he's wrong" where you build bridges with everyone else who thinks he's wrong, whether they like him or not
Now it seems like if you say "I like this guy, but he's wrong", the coalition is built around "I like this guy" where you're on the same side as everyone who likes him and opposed to everyone who doesn't
Read 8 tweets

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