Many times in the day we hear and read of the UK’s coronavirus outbreak, this way:
Every day, audiences in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland hear, with no comparative context, how many deaths and cases of infection there are in their nation. Here are the data for yesterday:
Audiences in England never hear the words ‘In the last 24 hours there were 61 deaths from coronavirus in England.’ That all of the deaths, sometimes only 99% of them, are in England, day after day, cannot be reported.
They DID hear that there were more than 900 new cases of infection in Spain last Friday leading to UK travellers now having to quarantine on return. There had been more than 700 new cases in England on the same day and on the following two, but that was not mentioned.
They DO hear of the terrible death rates in Brazil and in the USA but never that they are 50% lower, per million population, than the UK.
They do not see the terrible evidence that the rate of death and of new cases is not in decline, as the UK Government contents itself with a nation just ‘coping’ with the level:
In Scotland, pushing for zero tolerance of the virus, the death rate is less than 1 but the infection rate is up and seems to be flat-lining at an admittedly modest level (around 20).
As we return to some kind of normal, can Scotland resist the pressure of numbers building on her border?