Alone Like a Rolling Stone

Statistics Corona

Never believe a statistic that you have not faked yourself, was once taught to me at the beginning of my work life. The latest development here in Italy shows that the old wisdom is still valid. As we are damned to do nothing here on the boat, we of course follow the press closely and read almost every article from home and abroad.

We are particularly interested in developments in Italy, where we are affected by any changes ourselves. Since the press is swarming with all kinds of figures, we obtain our figures directly from the Italian Civil Defence, which publishes new cases in a statistic every evening. After the state had issued a curfew for the whole of Italy and an improvement of the situation could be expected after 10 days at the earliest, people longed for the day to come and hoped for a decrease in the numbers. In fact, the numbers also went down on days 10. and 11. on day 12, however, the numbers of the dead and newly infected rose again. On this day, the new numbers were not available as usual about 1 hour after the press conference of the Civil Defence, but much later and some newspapers published the numbers the next day. After what can't be, what must not be, the statistics were changed without further ado and now the number of newly infected persons is given on the basis of the known Corona cases available at the moment. Before the change, the basis was the total number of all corona cases since February 2020, which is a significant difference. With the new way of counting, you first subtract those recovered and dead from the total number of corona cases since February and then take the difference from the previous day as registered new infected. This sounds macabre now, but the more people die and recover, the better it is for the statistics. For example, on 25 March there were 74386 corona cases in Italy since the outbreak of the pandemic in February. Of these, 9362 have recovered and 7503 have died. On that day there were 57521 corona cases. The day before there were 54030 cases. The statistics now say 3491 newly infected. In fact, if you keep the old count, there were 5210 newly infected that day. The advantage of the newer method is that the statistics stick to the prognosis and the number of cases continues to decrease. We register this with slight surprise, but have never quite trusted the figures, especially since the unregistered cases introduce a considerable degree of uncertainty into the analysis.

Not only the figures, which suggest a longer period of the whole pandemic, but also the weather has worsened in the meantime. At the beginning of the week the long tongue of the Russian whip, as it was called in the press in Germany, also reached us and brought cool weather below 10°C. To make matters worse, it started to rain on Thursday and it got really cold and wet. We snuggled up in the salon and had a tea. In the supermarkets that Gaby (in Italy only one person is allowed to go shopping) visits once a week, there is more or less everything to buy. Since we have two supermarkets nearby, we had no bottleneck yet. Even toilet paper is available here in rough quantities, but with the pasta it gets a little tight from time to time. When you are on the street, you are mostly alone. Even the otherwise so much frequented Via Portuense, on which there is a traffic jam in the morning and in the evening, is empty like in an end time movie. This makes the situation a little scary, but instead, there are queues at the supermarkets in front of the door and you are back among people. Of course in a reasonable distance, waiting to be let in. That can take half an hour.

In the marina itself, after the measures have been tightened up, nobody can be seen any more, so that the stranded people are on their own. They can be counted on one hand and if the weather is fine, a chat is held, of course always with the appropriate distance. So far so good, we try to keep you up to date with our blog and wish you stay healthy, always fair winds and keep your ears stiff.