TRU prof offering video lesson on how to better understand COVID-19 data - InfoNews

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TRU prof offering video lesson on how to better understand COVID-19 data

FILE PHOTO - Social distancing rules are affecting everything from supermarkets to child custody.
April 22, 2020 - 5:00 PM

A Thompson Rivers University professor wants to make it a little easier for people to understand the COVID-19 data they are seeing on a daily basis.

Mateen Shaikh is an assistant professor in statistics and data sciences at Thompson Rivers University and has worked alongside epidemiologists.

He says he sees too many people who are confused about pandemic data, and hopes that his hour-long information session can help people to understand the important data, while disregarding figures that might not matter as much.

“Some people may think they’re hearing contradictory information, and they’re not. You just have to have a trained ear to understand exactly what’s being said…. If you’re not used to hearing numbers like that, it's something you can lose grasp of, and it’s nice to have a little bit of a refresher,” Shaikh says.

Some people may be confused about the importance of the epidemiological curve statistics, death rates and other figures that are often used to discuss the virus. He hopes his talk, set to go up on YouTube tonight, will help in easing unnecessary stress and helping people feel on top of the situation.

“I really spend most of the time talking about the epidemiological curve that I’m sure most people are familiar with and a lot of people are likely a little bit confused in terms of how much we can get out of the epidemiological curve and why it's dictating policy at this point.”

He was approached by a communications officer for the university, who asked him to create the informative video for people to more easily digest this information.

“They’re not really sure what those things are supposed to mean, it’s really just to help people who are flooded with information and not sure how they’re supposed to be digesting it,” Shaikh says.

The video will act as a summary and will explain to people facts about the curve, the reproductive rate of the virus, and insight into what the coming months might hold.

The video will launch on Youtube tonight at 7 p.m. You can catch it by clicking here.

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