In the Herald today:

NO new patients with Covid-19 have been admitted to intensive care in Scotland for at least 10 days, as the death toll from the virus fell for a second week in a row. With fewer than 500 critically ill coronavirus patients requiring ICU treatment so far, admissions appear to have stalled. The Scottish Government had set a target of quadrupling Scotland’s intensive care capacity to 700 beds amid fears that the NHS would be overwhelmed. But it comes as new statistics reveal that people living in the poorest areas of Scotland are more than twice as likely to die from the infection, with men also 50 per cent more likely than women to suffer fatal complications.

What seem like casual, innocent, choices of vocabulary will expose your truer feelings. McArdle has a very long history of finding a negative position on the facts and then using that to imply failure on the part of the Scottish Government so, using a bit of good news to lead on to, with a big but, something bad, is no surprise. Journalists call it ‘balance’ but it’s really just a device to soften you up for the real agenda underpinning the report.

But, but, at risk of being accused of Freudianism, see that ‘stalled?’

Here’s the alleged ‘stall’:

NHS Scotland

The graph finishes on the 2nd of April and as McArdle helpfully points out there have been no cases since. Sticking with the aeronautical metaphor and to quote famous test pilot, Chuck Yeager, admissions have ‘bought the farm!’

So, when you write ‘appear to have stalled’ does it seem like you either cannot read a graph or have a mental predisposition to hope that better times will come again with more folk in ICU?