Katy Meier Reading Response 3 – Barclay

To be completely honest, I have not kept up with the news very much at all in past couple weeks. At least not any more than the usual PBS News Hour each night and what I hear from friends and family. Voxmedia is not a common news source for many people I know but I thought that this news article did a nice job of justifying the recent call for “social distancing” and explaining the now commonly used phrase of “flattening the curve” without using scare tactics. I feel that in the past weeks, I have seen many new headlines and stories highlighting the exponentially increasing case numbers and fatal outcomes, heightening fears without really accomplishing any other productive agenda. Contrastingly, this Voxmedia news article integrates various credible sources such as the CDC and the Huffington Post to produce information that contextualizes the pandemic as the crisis that it is but at the same time providing a meaningful method to reduce the spread of the virus. Furthermore, I thought that the Voxmedia persuasive video, embedded in the article, used similar tactics as the news article such as using credible quotes and voices, graphics and logos. Opening the video clip with an excerpt from a recent World Health Organization conference sets a serious and reliable tone for the video, enabling views to trust the information that follows. The animated, yet simple graphics effectively conveys how easily COVID-19 can spread and exemplifies the way that social distancing can work to slow the spread of the virus. Lastly, the video makes an appeal to logic by using the prior example of the 1918 flu pandemic and comparing the outcomes of Philadelphia and St. Louis. It graphically shows that social distance measures that St. Louis enacted significantly slowed the spread of the flu. Overall, I thought that this was well written article that successfully summarized the urgent scale of the pandemic but also what we can do to help.


Barclay, Eliza, and Dylan Scott. “How Canceled Events and Self-Quarantines Save Lives, in One Chart .” Vox, Voxmedia, 10 Mar. 2020, https://www.vox.com/2020/3/10/21171481/coronavirus-us-cases-quarantine-cancellation.