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  • Writer's picturegraeme

LOCKDOWN REFLECTION DAY 13: Stop obsessing about the numbers

I see lots of people doing daily updates of their country's Covid-19 numbers. While it is vital that we keep track of this disease, I don't advise watching the official numbers too closely, for a few reasons:

1. The numbers are wrong. Not because governments are trying to deceive us (a few might be, but most are just doing their best), but just because it is really difficult to keep up with reporting at the moment. Frontline healthcare workers are spending all their waking hours dealing the disease, and are not focused on accurate record keeping.

2. Different countries - and even different parts of different countries - have very different ways of reporting the data. This means that even if the data is accurate, it is useless to compare one country to another. For example, do you list a "normal" death from flu or pneumonia as a Covid-19 death or not? This is not being done consistently.

3. The only thing that really matters in each country is the trend line. Are we seeing an increasing rate of infections? Or are we slowing the infection rate? That's really the only number worth watching: new infection rate.

So, for your own mental health, please stop watching the numbers the way you do. Start watching the trend lines. And hope, pray and work hard to flatten the new infections and hospitalisation curves.

Watch and share the video I did about this :

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