Picturing science-y stuff

Data journalism was becoming a thing about the time I started blogging a little over a decade ago. One format for that once-novel data-driven journalism was presenting a single powerful graphic accompanied by text explaining the graphic in depth. Jump ahead 10 years and we see data hasn’t sparked the interest some of us hoped. Instead of building a narrative to explain data, it’s far more common to invent numbers to explain a narrative. I will use a single slide to illustrate, from a recent presentation of the “Science Table: COVID-19 Advisory for Ontario.

I tracked down this information after reading a ridiculous sentence in a report from the mainstream media:

“If strong measures stay in place, the daily total could drop to below 1,000 at the beginning of June and a high of 2,000 by mid-July.”

Why would cases start to rise after June begins “if strong measures stay in place.” The linked report includes an embedded video which shows only the graph section of the above slide, but it’s text of the slide that explains the bizarre forecast.

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