BBC statistician: ‘Hardly an explanation for Scotland’s big rise in cases’

BBC Reporting Scotland have headlined the above claim, taking time to push home the message before having to admit, for fear of later ridicule, that it’s ridiculous.

16 paragraphs down and only at the end of Lisa Summer’s TV report do we get the facts that demolish their own opening statements.

On the website but also as the basis for Summer’s admission, we read in an analysis by Nick Triggle:

There has been a lot of talk about the mixing prompted by watching football being a cause of spread of the virus in Scotland. It is an easy target given the images of people together in stadiums and fanzone sites. But the problem with this data is it does not provide the answer to that.

It is contact tracing data used to establish who should be asked to isolate because they may be a close contact of an infected person. It does not tell you where the individual caught the virus – just where they had been when they were infectious.

So this tells us that 6% of positive cases during this period attended a match, Fanzone, someone’s home or the pub to watch a game of football.

The fact that people were out enjoying Scotland’s first tournament for 23 years is no surprise. It’s quite likely that led to some transmission – although remember it is indoor settings such as having a drink in the pub or sharing public transport on the way to the game that is more risky than watching a match outdoors – but it’s hardly an explanation for Scotland’s big rise in cases.

How many positive cases were there in the week – 20 500. 6% only might have been associated with a football match so there’s nothing there.

Yet they went with the headline. That’s an agenda at work.

Reporting something as a potential problem can suggest an agenda but so can not reporting something as a problem.

In March, I wrote:

After falling to the 7th of March, then levelling until the 9th, the number of new Covid cases in Scotland has begun to climb for the first time since the end of December 2020. From 466 new cases on the 9th March, we now have a sequence of 691, 591 and today, 682.

It’s maybe a bit early to worry but it is worthy of attention.

The average time before symptoms show is 4 to 5 days.

Today, 392 of the 682 were in Greater Glasgow and Clyde and in Lanarkshire.

Since the 7th March, the trend has been flat or falling in all parts of Scotland other than on the 9th, 10th and 11th especially in Greater Glasgow and in areas surrounding it.

Scotland has had 2 249 new cases in just those 4 days. Greater Glasgow and Clyde had 707. Lanarkshire had 384, Lothian had 298, Forth Valley had 215, Fife had 139, Grampian had 113 and Tayside had 108.

Could some event in Glasgow but attracting fans more widely have been the ‘ground zero’ for this surge?

Infection levels seem quite high in Kilwinning, North Ayrshire and the Ibrox East area of Glasgow but not the Parkhead East area. Could that be a clue?


This was not pursued.

Might BBC Scotland have an agenda to demonise supporters of a team identifiably Scottish but not those of a team more associated with the Union?

Oooh, I’m scared.

7 thoughts on “BBC statistician: ‘Hardly an explanation for Scotland’s big rise in cases’

  1. You rip to shreds all the pushed agenda
    By simply comparing Norway since The Delta variant reared its most contagious head
    Scotland has once again paying a most heavy price for the hesitancy and gambling of Boris the terrible
    He closed off Travel to/ from Pakistan 10 days before India
    All despite India having a higher prevalence of Delta
    In his needless delay 90,000 flew in from India before he closed down
    The Delta variant is a fold 3 mutation with over 40 genetic variations from the Wuhan original
    Should this one mutate further then it will be a fold 4 mutation
    Catastrophic and deadly even against those vaccinated
    And it is increasing rapidly now ever increasing the chances of a fold 4

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Having checked the data I take the opposite view. BBC are trying to play down the increased mixing due to the euros. Half the cases on 21 June were involved in euro meetings according to phs. 3 days later we have near doubling of cases. Let’s not tarnish Boris’s precious Wembley euros.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Several weeks ago, it was revealed England had a much higher prevalence of covid antibodies in the population compared to Scotland. Simply because they had higher rates of infection.
    So to some degree, Scotland is catching up during a surge in new variant infections.
    Opposition parties, the media (through articles, but also letters) and commentators have been rubishing Sturgeon/Scottish government for months now–casting doubt on the efficacy of advice, so people who did well at the start now think the worst is over.
    Hopefully it is, and the surge in infection will not prove deadly.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I suspect that over the next few weeks, IF IT IS SHOWN that two vaccinations break the connection between the virus and hospitalisation (or even phoning the doctor) – ie downgrading it in most cases to a nasty case of flu – we will be going for herd immunity. This will mean many more cases, many more people being ill (wont the BBC love that) but not nearly so many people in hospital, ICU or worst of all, dead.
    This, I suspect is what they mean when they talk of a “race between the vaccines and the virus” – that if they can get enough people vaccinated then the virus will have been much reduced – maybe even enough to shut up Lisa Summers (though that is unlikely)

    Liked by 4 people

  5. With HMS Sarah Smith’s history of anti-SG propaganda, it is more likely general negativity they were pursuing, the contact-tracing data being the excuse rather than the focus.

    Some degree of compliance fatigue after such a long period is inevitable, and summer temptations beckon despite the more infectious variant at large, but the football effects will be a minor blip to the general condition.

    PQ will be anxious not to be seen criticising football fans or clubs, their comment pages are already swamped by rent-a-mob wailing about SG hypocrisy over football, so their current strategy is clear enough.
    However, given Javid’s hardline approach that July is the end of lockdown forever in England, it’s hard to see how this can be sustained….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We must accept that the benefit to the majority who may not get too ill (we hope) outweighs the inconvenience to the immunocompromised who still have to be cautious in spite of 2 doses as long as cases are running out of control.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.