Case stories of how Covid-19 is spreading

The Scottish government should share individual patient case studies (anonymised, and or with the permission of the patients) which help the public understand how the virus is spreading in real world examples from patients who have caught the virus.

Each day the Scottish government confirms the number of new Covid-19 cases, hospital admissions and related deaths. Scotland is also implementing tracking and tracing capabilities to be able to learn more about how the disease is spreading in communities. However, we do not hear any stories about how individual patients contracted Covid-19. This makes it very hard to learn from others.

Can we get individual case stories from a selection of patients who caught Covid-19 in the last week or two, or died from Covid in the last week or two telling us how those people caught the virus (or a best guess of how they caught it).

As an example, if we learn that Mum 'Jackie' only had contact with one person, their daughter 'Sarah' and that Jackie and Sarah spent a couple of hours in the garden last week catching up because they hadn't seen each other for a few weeks. Both have now tested positive for Covid. Then this really brings home the risks associated with going and visiting a parent, even if you're obeying social distancing whilst there.

Other examples may make people make informed decisions about subjects such as using public transport, attending funerals, returning to workplaces, setting workplace social distancing policies etc etc etc.

This would help the public apply the 'numbers and data' to the real world and make more informed and better decisions about whether to adhere to the guidance that has been shared.

Appreciate we will not know how everyone caught the virus if there are multiple transmission risks, but from the hundreds of new cases each day we must have 10+ patients where we have a high confidence about how they caught the virus.

Why the contribution is important

Support for social distancing measures is critical to keeping Covid-19 transmission as low as possible to save lives and slow the spread of the virus.

The longer the Covid-19 outbreak goes on the more normalized it will be and the less cautious the public will be. This is a natural, human, response to an ongoing external threat or danger (think about how cautious you are first time you're doing something with an increased risk, and how that caution reduces over time) that persists.

The Scottish public is being asked to obey strict social distancing measures, and we know from data being shared by the Scottish and UK Governments as well as private companies such as Google, that there is increased activity on roads, in parks and workplaces. The public are obeying social distancing but it is fair and accurate to say people are making more exceptions, more justifications to themselves to break with the guidelines and potentially increasing the transmission rates.

If people can learn from others experiences (and mistakes) then this will help reduce transmission rates. Unfortunately, you can't learn from a 'new cases' or 'new deaths' data point.

by LEBisho on May 06, 2020 at 12:40PM

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