Sep. 23, 2020

Daily coronavirus statistics don't tell the whole story

People are starting to raise eyebrows over corona virus messaging, questioning the statistics and the need for government restrictions and partial lockdowns.

We get loads of numbers regularly painting a bleak picture. The message is beginning to get stale for many. For instance, with 8,168 people tested positive as of Tuesday, there are the additional 136 who are Epi linked. Epi-linked is a person not laboratory test, with fever over 38 degrees or new onset of chronic cough. Close contact with a confirmed case of the virus, and living or working in a closed-in outbreak like a long-term care facility or prison.

Not tested but still counted as virus cases? That number is not large, but these numbers add to the declared total of 8,304 virus cases.

Where it gets dodgy is the daily numbers – 96 on Tuesday – but fewer people in hospital than the previous day. So, none of the 96 were sick enough to require hospitalization? Since the beginning of the pandemic, B.C. Centre for Disease Control says there have been 710 cases admitted to hospital. On Tuesday there were 61 in hospital with 22 in ICU. There are 1,465 active cases – what are “active” cases? – people with coughs and runny noses, but not really sick? What happened to Tuesday’s reported 96 cases? Were they simply sent home to self-quarantine?

Another question is about the reported number of deaths? How many actually died from the virus itself and how many died from underlying issues, chronic ailments or even old age?

Mark Twain once said, “figures don’t lie, but liars figure.” Or as Anonymous is reported to have said, "Lies, damned lies, and statistics.”