The world is entering its fourth year of living with COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Nearly everyone has had personal experience of catching the virus and many people are living with the lingering effects of illness. Governments around the world have abandoned national policies to curb transmission and have left the management of risks to the individual. “Learn to live with it” and “you do you” individual responsibility are the dominant mantras.

This individualistic approach to an airborne virus relies on people being armed with knowledge to understand the risks they face and the tools that help mitigate those risks. Many governments initially responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by holding official briefings, communicating the risks the disease poses and implementing emergency measures to minimize transmission. Three years on the pandemic is still with us but official communication and consequent media coverage has been reduced so that many people have resumed their 2019 lifestyles, largely oblivious to the ongoing risks posed by COVID-19. This information gap comes just as the scientific and medical community is learning more and more about the detrimental long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 infections.

The John Snow Project was started by individuals who grew concerned by the lack of attention being given to a virus that has killed tens of millions, and even after the deployment of vaccines and widespread convalescence, is still killing tens of thousands of people around the world every week and debilitating many more. The objective of the John Snow Project is to provide easily digestible information for the general public and policymakers to help them understand the risks posed by the disease and how to best manage those risks.

The John Snow Project editorial group is comprised of individuals who have an excellent track record of anticipating characteristics of the virus, the disease and the challenges it poses. Members of our editorial group published journal papers early in the pandemic, forecasting many of the developments that surprised colleagues who were advising governments. Members of our editorial group have expertise in epidemiology, immunology, microbiology, clinical practice, and public and global health. Many of the clinicians in the editorial group have spent the past three years treating patients with COVID-19 and are now treating patients suffering from both the acute disease and the long-term consequences of infection. We follow the evidence wherever it leads with the only agenda being to understand the disease and its impact. We believe it is better to understand risk and react accordingly, rather than to try to ignore it.

By providing up-to-date, practical information, we hope to minimize the impact of COVID-19 by cutting community transmission, reducing individual risk of infection, and delivering better treatments and improved vaccines to lessen the impact of disease. Members of our editorial group are involved in every aspect of impact reduction and are working proactively to help improve human health in the face of this novel threat.

The John Snow Project relies on volunteers and donations to produce its content. It is not affiliated with any political, economic or social organizations that might influence editorial policy. Our editorial group is composed of individuals who volunteer their time because they want to see a better world for themselves and their loved ones.

The forthcoming series of articles and editorials will help make sense of the latest scientific research, identify practical ways people can help reduce the impact of COVID-19 on their families, communities and workplaces, and keep track of the latest developments in vaccines and therapeutics that reduce the impact of disease.

The John Snow Project is intended to inform and empower and we hope you will find it useful as you navigate the day-to-day challenges posed by COVID-19.