As global trade and economics, indeed, the fabric of society is twisted up in these very troubled times, open data cooperation can be a lightpost for collective action, and a way to help keep each other afloat. Though sometimes, it is the little things that count. A helpful sign on the door, a mood lifting note, a mask, an improved form.
Some of us here are being drawn to question and monitor the decisions of governments and other institutions. Others are called in to assist in restoring trust in a time of great information discrepancy, and ensuring that critically needed measures are being followed. Any of us that can provide valuable support to the medical and health research community are hopefully able to do their very best.
Since the epidemic escalated and lockdown measures were enforced, a rapidly organized collective of about 40 of us in the local open data scene rallied together with a handful of public health experts and supportive government workers to prepare and improve datasets of national cases counts, health infrastructure capacity, monitoring environmental impact and control measures in an online workshop. We’ve been at it day and night all in hope to make a dent in the right direction.
Our efforts are organized on, as much as possible open source, self-hosted platforms like Dribdat, CodiMD, Mattermost, Jitsi Meet and Discourse. We are starting to push results to GitHub and open data portals. 2 days remain in our sprint if you would like to contribute.
There are a number of even smaller and much bigger efforts happening around the world. Looking forward to hearing about yours! Let me know if I can help you get started. Stay tuned for ways our wider community is being engaged in the days ahead.
It is really difficult for me to write this, knowing how many families being torn apart at the moment, how much suffering and shortage is out there, what a historic test this is to our systems and fundamental institutions. Thank you to everyone here, not losing time or resolve, and watching out for one another.
Winston Churchill may have once said “Never let a good crisis go to waste”, and if there is a silver lining to this deadly cloud, it is that the purposes and practices of open knowledge are key to winning battles in the raging infodemic of misinformation.
The other thing they say the man had said is “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Thank you Catherine & team for encouraging us to keep chins up and stay open.
I sincerely wish all of you the strength and courage to stay strong and do the right thing. Don’t just grit and bear it. Share your story!