Final Word from Thursday, July 16, 2020

You've no doubt heard the expression, if you play with numbers, you can get burned. Okay, it's supposed to be "fire," but the same general warning applies to pyromaniacs as to inveterate number-cookers. The Czech health ministry increased the risk profile of Serbia and Montenegro last Fri., stating that there had been a large rise in the number of covid-19 infections in the past week and that there were now more than 50 positive cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Health Min. Adam Vojtěch said later that the "general warning parameter" is 16 infections per 100,000 inhabitants. Sixteen infections per 100,000 inhabitants over a two-week period works out to 1,712 in the CR, which has a population of 10.7m. The official two-week number as of yesterday was 1,429, which is 16.5% below the "general warning parameter." But the one-day infection number jumped by 61% on Tues., and by 30% yesterday. A few more days like that and someone's gonna have to put out a big fire. [ Czech Republic threshold coronavirus cook numbers ]

Glossary of difficult words

Czechs on the verge of a nervous lockdown - a play on the movie title, Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown;

verge - an extreme limit beyond which something specified will happen;

lockdown - a state of isolation or restricted access instituted as a security measure;

pyromaniac - a person suffering from an excessive desire to set fire to things;

inveterate - having a particular habit, activity, or interest that is long-established and unlikely to change;

to cook numbers - to alter numbers or statistics to make them look good or to achieve a desired result.

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