"The amount of cases in the last 3 weeks has increased 10 fold!"  That's what I read in the article [1] published by RTL today on the 7th of July 2020. There is no indication or thoughts as to what could be the reasons for that increase and the conclusion is left to the reader.

Hoping to see press coverage that went a bit further than just relaying official statements I had a read and also opened up [2] Ben Elsen's excellent statistical analysis.

According to the article, there was apparently a 10 fold increase in the last three weeks - so let's take a look at the percentage of positive tests in that time period :

I am unable to see a 10 times increase in relative Positive Test numbers, so what can that possibly mean?

In the graph above, we can see that the number of tests have increased roughly 10 fold over the last 3 weeks aswell.

And that's what we don't call journalism my friends you cannot just communicate such numbers without any context or even attempt at explanation. This article is throwing a bunch of copied figures at the reader, without any additional insights or analysis. Worse, it leaves us with the thinking that all hell will break loose soon.

20 years ago we called that "spreading FUD" (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt). It's the self-feeding journalistic echo chamber that lets the clicks coming and the paranoia rise. It is unfortunately also what creates the very people that ignore the requirements to wear masks because they believe that everything that they read is a bunch of BS and loose trust. (In my humble opinion, such reporting  deserves that judgment).

In all fairness, the R number points to weeks where we will need to be cautious in Luxembourg, but it is not through such journalism that we will succeed in winning over the population to do the right thing. A totalitarian draconian political approach won't work either. Be honest/truthful, humble, try your best to be neutral and say what the things are that we/you do not know. The result is trust because the message is truthful. We never were in such a situation, there are a lot of known unknowns and unknown unknowns. Just say it, there is no shame in not knowing everything at 100% at this stage.

[1] https://www.rtl.lu/news/national/a/1545407.html
[2] https://donneeen.lu/covid19/overview/


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