Covid by numbers: 10 key lessons separating fact from fiction
To make sense of coronavirus data, the Observer asked David Spiegelhalter and Anthony Masters of the Royal Statistical Society Covid taskforce to write a column. That column has now inspired a book. Here are some of its insights
Genomic sequencing has identified more than 1,000 different seeds of Sars-CoV-2 introduced in early 2020. Instead of one central outbreak, reverberating outwards like an explosion, we now know there were many erupting simultaneously across the country. There were far more imports of Sars-CoV-2 from France, Italy and Spain than from China – viruses can take indirect flights. The peak was early March, after the school half-term, but a popular holiday time for adults. At the Champions League football match at Anfield between Liverpool and Atlético Madrid on 10 March, 49,000 local supporters mixed with 3,000 fans of the opposing team, while schools in Madrid were shut and supporters could not attend matches. To add insult to injury, Liverpool lost 3–2, and 4–2 on aggregate.