In my past career, I was paid to digest public companies’ financial information to help tell their story to investors buying shares on the stock exchange. I left that life behind when I relocated to the Isle of Man where there isn’t much calling for those skills!! But, I guess old habits die hard!
It’s oftentimes hard to look at a list of reported statistics and understand what’s really going on. But a picture tells a thousand words. Looking at how the numbers trend over time; how much they are changing day to day – all this helps to understand what’s actually going on. The only problem: it doesn’t predict exactly what’s going to happen tomorrow.
Like everyone else on the rock; my family and I wait with baited breath for every Covid 19 update from government and we were filled with dread when the first case was confirmed. From that point on I felt that I really needed to understand each day’s update to get a sense of what was happening. My partner suggested I plot some charts so naturally I went back to what I knew: I started graphically tracking the progression of the illness on the island. First I shared them with family and friends and before long I was posting them on twitter and gathering some likes and retweets. So now it’s become part of my daily routine to wait for government’s announcement to update my spreadsheet and post my little charts on twitter!!
On a personal note; I am really grateful to be hunkering down in the isle of Man during this crisis. We have so many factors that are in our favour; first of which is the Irish Sea which separates us from all our neighbours (I will never complain about having to do the hop again!!). We have a government that’s in touch with what’s happening; is empowering us by sharing updated information every day and whose top priority is to protect the lives of everyone living on the island. Day by day they have also started sharing more statistics, enabling us to better understand; and including the progression curve so that we can all see how things are evolving over time compared to what government is planning and when we may peak.
We are a small nation, making it easier to trace who Covid 19 positive people have been in contact with. Our strong sense of community also means that we have taken heed of the call to stay at home. Social distancing has quickly become a way of life: A couple of weeks ago; anyone who crossed the road when approaching you on the pavement was considered rude. Now the person who crosses the road is the polite one – everyone does it, and more often than not it’s accompanied by a nod or a smile to acknowledge that we’re all in this together!
Coming back to my point that charts can’t tell you exactly what’s going to happen tomorrow: Everyone of us living in the Isle of Man can have an impact on what happens tomorrow by staying at home and adhering to the government’s guidelines. We have the power to make sure that we manage Covid; and not letting it manage us!
And from my side, I will carry on plotting and sharing my little charts while I dutifully stay at home!
You can check out Stephanie’s IOM C-19 data on her Twitter account @10davidstreet