RTÉ News, yesterday
Broadsheet on the Telly‘s Neil Curran shared a graph with viewers (see below) showing virus growth in Ireland with Dublin and Donegal singled out, prompted by an RTÉ article which Neil claims is untrue and generating fear.
“Torture numbers, and they’ll confess to anything”
The only people who like accountants are other accountants. But there is one attribute to accountants we can all take from; predictability.
Whether its good news or bad news, accountants like to be able to predict it. Otherwise, even if you are giving your investors sky high revenue and profit results, if you didn’t predict it then you’re not in control of your books.
The same can be said for viruses. The difference here is that unpredictability leads to uncertainty and leads to fear. Fear is a very powerful force.
On September 18, Dublin entered level 3+ on the government’ Covid-19 roadmap and on September 25, Donegal followed suit. Second waves, doom and gloom, shame and horror – we are back there again.
With Tony Holohan’s return last Sunday, it brought a further wave of anxiety as the Level 5 leak spread like wildfire (how many of you are receiving the WhatsApp messages already where someone’s Mammy’s Aunt is a teacher and heard level 5 kicks in on X date?). It’s now a media circus.
Yesterday, RTÉ ran a story with the headline, “Still ‘exponential growth’ in Dublin despite level 3 restrictions”. The first paragraph tells us how Associate Professor of Biochemistry at Trinity College Dublin, Tomás Ryan has said the situation in Dublin has got worse and we have what looks like exponential growth.
This is completely untrue…
Rona rates in Ireland, September 18-October 8
…as you can see from this graph (above) which captures daily case rates since September 18, Dublin is not experiencing exponential growth. If we were experiencing exponential growth than the virus would need to be doubling its presence over a specific period of time.
Taking the daily rates from September 18 to October 8, cases are currently trending downward. That’s not to say we are out of the woods yet, we will need to see if that trend continues over the next 5 days.
However one thing is for sure, Dublin is not experiencing exponential growth and there is nothing in the data from the past 7 days that would suggest that.
So why did RTÉ run that article and give column space to an associate professor that was claiming a false truth? Why didn’t RTÉ fact check his claim?
It is fair to say beyond Dublin and Donegal the rest of Ireland is deteriorating rapidly. However, based on the data for Dublin and to a lesser extent Donegal, there is evidence to suggest level 3 restrictions are working, even if they are working at a slower rate than desired.
Yesterday, NPHET recommended no changes to current guidelines of level 3 nationwide and the government heeded their advice. Reading between the lines would suggest they are monitoring progress accordingly.
Without suggesting any return of complacency, it would do us all a favour if the government could acknowledge that level 3 is having a positive impact in Dublin and they are hoping for a similar trend nationwide.
Otherwise the lack of clarity will continue to fuel fear, madness and false claims made by people in positions who should know better.
Last night: Staying In Tonight?
Earlier: Death Without Dignity
Ivor Cummins aka The Fat Emperor writes:
THE ULTIMATE LESSON from Sweden – short and sharp for sharing. It will help people to grasp the reality, in these strange, strange times.
In follow up, here is a graph showing all CoViD-19 Cases and Deaths in Ireland. The graph is smoothed to the 7 day average. The cases, they are rising for sure but look at that death rate. So yet again we ask: #WhyAreTheyDoingThis and #WhyDoWeAcceptIt . #Casedemic pic.twitter.com/DRZP6NGObv
— Jason McNamara (@JasonMcNamaraIE) October 9, 2020