COVID-19 Blog, ‘Dear Pandemic,’ Was Yardley Nurse’s Idea for a ‘Dear Abby’-Style Forum for Health Advice

Ashley Ritter, Dear Pandemic
Image via Ashley Ritter at MSN.
Ashley Ritter, healthcare blogger, wearing "Dear Pandemic" shirt, evoking the advice of the former "Dear Abby" column,

Nurse Ashley Ritter, from Yardley, spent the coronavirus lockdown looking at online information about the health crisis. There was good info out there, but there was a lot of sketchy “advice,” too. She launched a blog to cull the wheat from the chaff. Katie Fishman, MSN, reports on “Dear Pandemic,” named for the “Dear Abby” advice column.

Ritter incorporated two colleagues as content contributors. The trio, all with PhDs and a well-established social media reach, call themselves “Those Nerdy Girls.”

“I think one of the things we had going for us very early on is that we weren’t just saying ‘wash your hands,’” Ritter said. “We were saying, ‘This is really hard mentally. How do I deal with this?’”

Ritter’s views her medical training as a key asset.

The widespread dissemination of information “felt like a natural transition,” she said. Helping “thousands of people … make decisions that could protect their health. That felt very in line with nursing.”

Ritter believes that information is empowering. That’s her takeaway.

“Unless we have these conversations and it becomes okay to ask questions about things we don’t know, we’re not going to find the middle,” she said.

“And the middle is where the sweetness of life comes from.”

More on “Dear Pandemic” is at MSN.

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