Illustrations: Xinmei Liu

THE COVID AUDIT

This College Student Headed Back to Campus. Then an Epidemiologist Rated Her Every Move.

In our new series, real life meets public health advice

Elemental
Published in
12 min readSep 29, 2020

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Wouldn’t it be nice, as you go about your confusing, nerve-wracking, coronavirus-avoiding days, to have an epidemiologist on call to answer your many questions? Consider the Covid Audit the next best thing. This project, a collaboration between Elemental and the Epidemiology Covid-19 Response Corps at the Boston University School of Public Health, asks real people to keep a diary about what they’re doing to avoid Covid-19 and gives friendly feedback from the response corps team on actions you can take to support public health — and your own. This week’s reviewers are Bertha Hidalgo, PhD, MPH, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Shagun Modi, an MPH candidate in epidemiology and biostatistics at BUSPH. The pair worked under the supervision of Ellie Murray, ScD, MPH, an assistant professor of epidemiology at BUSPH.

Our diarist, a returning undergrad at a small liberal arts college in the Northeast, tracked her actions over three days as she moved into college: One day in transit, one moving into her dorm, and one in a school-mandated quarantine. “The college released a bunch of…

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Sara Austin
Elemental

Sara Austin is a writer and editor in New York. She has held senior editorial positions at Real Simple, Cosmopolitan, Self, and Marie Claire.