As the Pandemic Grows, We Seek Comfort in Uncertain Numbers

Every morning, I check the numbers at the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Research Center. I stare at the millions, the hundreds of thousands, the red dots that blend into a huge red blur. I enlarge the map and click on my county, noting the jump in infectious cases and the increase in deaths. I glance at the bottom of the map, where a line graph continues to go up, up, up, and I switch to the logarithmic graph with a line that curves more gently and is reassuringly flatter.

What does it all mean?

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