Originally posted by gmc:Figures are a need to know basis,if you want to believe what you are being told by your respective governments,then fair play.Me? Never personally believe a Tory government in the UK.I’m a teen of the 80’s under a Tory government,I know only too well about this lot.Simple.I can go the pub next Saturday for the first time in 3 months but people are still catching it and dying from it? Herd immunity 2.0 I’m afraid due to commercial economics being on its knees and no income tax from employees going into the government coffers.I might go to Barnard Castle just to test my eyes though.
Figures? All garbage.I know for a fact someone locally who passed away in hospital.Death certificate had COVID-19 as cause.Didn’t contract it,family asked for it to be removed,Dr refused to change it.Make of that what you will.
Be sensible and stay safe.
Rather than serve to inflame points of view and any pre-existing thoughts, I refer you to the following which, if read, will give you an understanding of how departments in government work.
I am often employed within one such department for very specific reasons irrespective of what I originally trained as, armed with a transferable skillset within a department that is the most hated in government because we remain neutral and impartial to what political party is elected. What government and media does with our findings, data and analysis is open to variation, interpretation and projection as I pointed out in my post Coronavirus: a narrative through data analysis.
Enter the logarithm
I have noticed the media and governments are quite savvy about the way data are presented, depending on the argument they are trying to make. When reinforcing the ‘stay at home, stay safe, protect the NHS’ message, the exponential is the star of the show – dramatic, steep, frankly terrifying. When trying to reassure that the curve can be flattened, another form of presentation is used – the logarithmic scale.
So the point is….
Ways of presenting data matter greatly to the public’s perception and understanding, particularly during a pandemic, where that understanding can only really be formed in numbers.
If we were to reflect on something that hasn’t worked so well it’s precisely the way information is presented: the sectors departments work within do not have the collective means to mobilise evidence and engage in collective learning quickly and the UK is as complicit in that as any other. If ever there was a question over the merits of growing an innovation and learning infrastructure in government, coronavirus has emphatically answered it.
So, figures are not garbage. They exist for a reason and, as previously stated, how the data is disseminated is the key factor here.