COVID19: Relax, Everything’s Getting Better..?

March 24
March 22

These maps were taken from the NYTimes on March 24th (top), and March 22 (second image). The size of the shaded circles indicates the number of known COVID19 cases in each major infection center, and it appears, just going on the size of the circles, that things have gotten better, right? Just compare the symbols over the New York region in the map directly above to the one at the top of the post. I’m sure if Trumpy sees this, he will congratulate himself, and maybe get out his Sharpie to highlight this evidence of his wonderful leadership.

Ah…but scale is everything. Not map scale, in this case, but the symbology metric. As the number of cases in NYC grows exponentially (and that term is correct in this instance, not just hyperbole) the circular graphic would grow so large that it would extend to the edges of the image, which would make it difficult to interpret. So, it appears, the cartographers have adjusted the scale of the symbols, i.e., a given increment in the symbol radius indicates a greater number of cases today than on March 22. If you zoom into the map to read the numerical values that indicate the raw count, you can see that it has gone up significantly although the symbol size has not.

2 Responses to COVID19: Relax, Everything’s Getting Better..?

  1. Guy Savage says:

    I like the way Covid 19 seems to have ‘gone away,’ at least in people’s minds just because they are tired of restrictions. Hardly any customers wearing masks at the supermarket any more.
    Projected deaths here keep climbing but the bars are opening.

    • Lichanos says:

      Yeah, people don’t get it, don’t want to get it…it IS hard. Me, I just look at the data. Anyway, where I live is the center of the biggest caseload in the country now, maybe the world, so I’m pretty darn careful.

      New cases are not going down anywhere except NY, NJ, and CT, my neighborhood. 🙂 Everywhere else, they are flat or trending up. Some of that is due to increased testing, but not all. If the trend continues, the death count will unambiguously make it all clear. Next few weeks will be interesting for data crunchers!

      Maybe people know more about math than we give them credit for! 🙂 When the rate was increasing EXPONENTIALLY, they were scared. Now that it is simply LINEAR, they figure, what the hell..it’s not exponential. 😦

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