Are Scotland’s coronavirus deaths ‘soaring’ or ‘increasing slowly?’ Depends how you draw the graph?

That’s how they looked on the Scottish Government site after yesterday’s increase of a further six. Note the graph only goes up to 22 even though there have been more than 500 cases. Look what happens if you flatten the graph:

Doesn’t seem so worrying does it? What if we squeeze it?


What if we put it into some kind of context, say overall cases admitted, as Reporting Scotland did the previous day?

Relatively low? Sign of excellent care? Or, as she has it, we’re ‘behind the curve?’

10 thoughts on “Are Scotland’s coronavirus deaths ‘soaring’ or ‘increasing slowly?’ Depends how you draw the graph?

  1. I read a very confused report yesterday in the Guardian about testing kits – I think it was the government giving conflicting, as usual, information leading to a not so clear article. Is the government supplying home testing kits for antibody test, and how far will 3.5million go throughout the UK – are we supposed to share? (!)

    Still not much info yet, but found this tweet – if they are charging £120 for one I think we will have to share! I don’t know that this is the kit to be available, but that’s our public servant MPs for you:

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aha. Dr Adams on the radio saying they are just started testing the test kits and hopes ‘it will be weeks rather than months’. Just for context when Boris says it’ll be days. If he says that today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was also reported, in relation to the tests, that Boots, who would presumably be selling them once available, knew nothing about them!

      But an important question that was not asked: why buy 3.5 million test kits when they have not been tested to find out if they work. You buy a hundred, evaluate them for specificity and sensitivity , if they pass that process then, and only then do you buy the rest.


      1. Dr Adams was asked that very question! She ‘could only presume’ the government had put some kind of down payment or promise to order waffle waffle or something – nobody has any idea what Boris is doing, let alone himself.


  3. And as to the graphs – I do love a good graph – it’s amazing how easy it is to make it apparently show what you want it to show. Try a logarithmic scale too, they are fun, or inverting the y-axis.

    I missed most of an important interview there on radio Scotland – somebody official (I’ll hear who it was soon hopefully). So, they are planning on setting up field hospital type sites, for more beds as they are expecting cases to soar, but she also said they are expecting labs to be set up to enable thousands more tests a day to be done (for NHS workers) next week – so that’s good news.

    51 ICU patients as of yesterday – we should also have sympathy for those patients that do recover because apparently it can take a year of care to fully recover from this kind of respiratory illness – so it isn’t a quick fix and folk can’t just be discharged after, which will be part of the potential for the NHS being overwhelmed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t you have a list of all my titles?! I can’t keep up…

      Dare I ask what level of extra bonus I might get for taking on another role…??

      You should try inverting axes, you can get some free yoga apps just now 😉 I’ve not done yoga in ages, and just a couple of beginner short sessions (badly done) there and I feel a ton better – get those chakras aligned and stretch out your tense shoulders! You’ll feel a ton more relaxed and freeeeeee…..


  4. To be fair, the number of deaths WILL be behind the number of cases – very few will die on the day they get it. I believe it’s about 12 days from first diagnosis to death on average (for those that die, anyway).


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