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I spy with my beady eye ...

31 Mar 2020

NZ lockdown day 6 of N

The NZ politicians and news media are updating us daily on selected COVID-19 statistics (metrics), particularly concerning NZ of course but also the global situation. Countries with the largest numbers (regardless of which metric) are naturally media-fodder.

It's fair to ask, though, what all these numbers mean, why we should care about them, and why they are being reported rather than others.

As with information risk and security metrics, there are various audiences of the metrics with numerous concerns, objectives, purposes, uses for or interests in them e.g.:
  • Those actually managing the national response, day-by-day, need to know how they are doing relative to their plans and intentions, and how they might improve
  • Central and local government politicians giving oversight and direction to the response ... with a keen eye on their popular standing, given that an election is in the offing (unless deferred) ... plus administrators in the civil service
  • The Treasury and Inland Revenue, overseeing the financial aspects of NZ's impacts from COVID-19, not least the costs of the controls and handouts intended to keep businesses and other organizations afloat, the national debt and tax burden on those who make it through 
  • The stock market and financial industry generally - interested for the same reasons
  • The NZ general public with a personal, familial and general interest in the situation, mostly concerned non-specialists
  • The news media - specifically journalists, editors and proprietors  
  • The social media - specifically bloggers, Twits, Facebookers, community members and influencers, commentators and assorted 'interested parties' ... including me 
  • Specialists in public health, infectious disease, virology, epidemiology, genetics, risk and incident management etc.
  • Healthcare professionals - in particular those planning for, leading and administering the public health response to COVID-19
  • The police and justice system, largely responsible for administering the lockdown and dealing with noncompliance 
  • Border authorities, responsible for diverting new arrivals into NZ into self-isolation
  • 'Foreigners' i.e. similar audiences overseas, interested in comparing NZ's approach to their own country's.

Those are the audiences, some of them anyway. Already the variety is clear. 

I'll be back to take a look at NZ's COVID-19 metrics tomorrow.

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