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Down and Dirty in Virus-Laden Sewage, for Journalism

Aug 25, 2022

Each time the car went over a bump, the ice in the cooler rattled. Just a little, but enough to remind me what was right behind me in the trunk. Placed on the ice in that cooler, which was balancing atop gym bags and sneakers, was a wastewater sample that was likely to contain the coronavirus.

It’s not often I find myself accompanying sewage through Queens. But I suppose this was my own doing.

I’ve been reporting on Covid since March 2020, as a graphics and multimedia editor that designs and builds the coronavirus trackers for The New York Times. This doesn’t usually involve field reporting, but rather wading through data and designing charts and tables to help readers understand the trajectory of the pandemic.

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