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When in crisis mode, let everyone follow the data

As I write this at the end of March, I am confronted with a world turned upside down. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed every part of my daily routine, limiting my trips to the grocery store, physically distancing me from family, friends, and colleagues, and forcing me to work from home. I am learning to adjust to my new work environment, substituting in-person meetings with video webinars, finding other sources of entertainment, and embracing strategies that make me feel less isolated. I suspect this experience will fundamentally change how we do our work and interact with each other. What that means in terms of specifics, though, I do not know.

Yet this unprecedented event has also taught me a valuable lesson. While I always believed data to be a valuable tool to guide science and decision-making, I never realized how important a role it plays during a crisis.

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