Half of the following statements are false. Find out which by interacting with the visualisation dashboard below.
Cases numbers are the confirmed cases, so the number of people who have tested positive to covid-19. Of course, since the beginning of the pandemic, we know that this number is not accurate, as not everyone gets tested and / or recorded in official figures. Testing strategies have differed significantly across countries and stages of the pandemic impacting significantly the confirmed cases figures.
Death data might be a better metric to gauge the impact of the pandemic at a certain time, but again it is not perfect. Covid-19 deaths are counted slightly differently in different places. Sometimes even on the same place in different times. For instance, in the UK, up until the 12 of August of 2020 all deaths following a positive covid-19 test were counted in the covid-19 death sum. Then, officials decided to only include deaths occurring up until 28 days after the initial positive test cutting down the total number of deaths by over 5 thousand. In many other countries, covid-19 needs to be specifically listed in the causes of death of a patient. And of course, covid-19 is rarely the only cause of death, so how do I even know what the patient died from?! First of all, take a deep breath and relax. You can’t know, but the professionals filling out those death certificates have had some practice. This is not a new problem. Terminally ill people are very often challenged in multiple fronts. Another way to look at death data, is to simply sum up all deaths occurring over a week and compare the total weekly sums with previous years. The gross simplification here is that any excess deaths this year should correspond to covid-19’s impact. True, but impact is not just people directly dying from covid-19, but also from the side effects of the pandemic. Like hospitals being full, patients avoiding to visit them out of fear and so on.
To get an idea of how bad the health care system was hit, we can look at the number of people who were hospitalised or even put into ICUs (intensive care units) due to covid-19. We have 2 different kinds of metrics here, one about the total number of patients in hospitals (or ICUs) in any given time, and another about new admissions. I am showing data for the first kind of data where possible, but you might notice that we only have new admissions data for some countries, others only report on hospitalizations or ICUS but not both, and for many countries we do not have any relevant data at all.
Wherever you were, chances are that sometime during 2020 you were told to stay home. Some governments merely outlined recommendations for the public, but most enforced rules to make citizens comply. Here you can see a rough visualization of government responses when it came to public movement restrictions. For simplicity I am only using 4 broad categories of responses, but you can find more specific information by hovering over each country. The four categories range from no restrictions imposed (although recommendations were typically made), to movement restrictions only in parts of the country, to restrictions for the whole country but only in particular times (curfew), to restrictions in the whole country all of the time (lockdown). Of course, many more government responses were put in place at the same time like banning gatherings, imposing social distancing rules, closing businesses etc, but the scope of this visualisation remains solely the movement restriction policies.
Navigate Obscurity 2023 | Created by theVirtual Alchemist