The Scream 5: Lies, damn lies and statistics

I have always had a problem with numbers and I take most statistics with a pinch of salt.

While the figures themselves may well be accurate, where they come from, how they are achieved, what they did and didn’t cover and how they might me massaged, renders their usefulness questionable and the comparisons made to draw conclusions often worthless.

Nothing could be truer that in our own situation. The government sees fit to make daily pronouncements of cases and deaths. This is immediately a problem because these announcements are not made under normal circumstances so we have nothing to compare it with. We don’t have daily announcement from the government to say how many people die of road deaths or drugs overdose or accidents at work for that matter, so we have no way of measuring how big the things is. We could find out but that is not as easy as it seems. We need the experts in these things and they can run rings round us, as we know.

Even the way the pronouncements have been made makes you wonder. Astonishingly, well into the thing, we found that, Oops, figures outside hospital were not included so the reality will be much higher. Then we learn that the figures relate to those dying with and not necessarily those dying of , and we may never know the actual truth here. To my mind, all of this makes the stats pretty much meaningless.

And then there are the graphs, which are designed in such a way to show what the creator actually wants to show. To confirm the theory. No one produces graphs to show that their theory is bogus.  It seems that scientists with their models have decided that there will be a peak, so the graph shows a peak. They decide there will be a flattened off, so we see that too. People now suspect a second peak, so the graphs will no doubt show that in time. People have done the same with hockey sticks.   It is not that I don’t believe it. I do.  But I am sure it is not the whole story and only part of the story given out to make a specific point. The point I suspect is to drum home the message to stay at home and keep your distance.

Only time will tell if this action was prudent or foolish, but I have my hunch and I have to say I trust that more that statistics.