We’ve written earlier than about how numeracy can affect well being selections. And we all know numeracy expertise have a tendency to say no once we’re beneath stress — like, say, throughout a worldwide pandemic! In order well being communicators, we have to assist our readers parse the info within the COVID dialog.
Use the following tips to assist your audiences make sense of COVID numbers:
- Use numbers on a need-to-know foundation. When individuals are bombarded by numerous numbers, they have a tendency to tune out. So every time you utilize a quantity, ask in case your reader actually must see it. For instance, in a brief how-to about COVID testing, is the precise false optimistic price need-to-know info? Or may that quantity distract from the important thing motion step of getting examined?
- Outline key information phrases. Phrases like “optimistic take a look at price” get thrown round a lot lately that they begin to really feel acquainted. However to most individuals, that’s nonetheless unfamiliar jargon. So as an alternative of writing “Your state has a 20 p.c optimistic take a look at price,” attempt: “Within the final week, 1 in 5 individuals in your state who received examined for COVID-19 had the illness.”
- Put numbers in context. Defining data-related phrases is barely half the battle! Readers additionally want context to know why the numbers matter within the first place. So present the related takeaway: “This excessive optimistic take a look at price signifies that your state isn’t testing sufficient individuals. Which means numerous individuals in your state may have the virus and never realize it.”
- Comply with up with motion steps. Flip info into motion by pairing numbers with steps readers can take to maintain themselves and others wholesome. For instance, “Proper now, there are greater than 500 circumstances of COVID-19 in your county. That’s a really excessive quantity — so it’s particularly vital to remain residence as a lot as attainable and put on a masks everytime you depart your own home.”
- Assist readers visualize information. Use graphics to convey the numbers to life. For instance, the Covid Act Now map affords a visible snapshot of how the virus is affecting communities throughout america. A majority of these colourful visuals might help readers shortly grasp the extent of threat of their space — and make extra knowledgeable well being selections.
The underside line: Assist your readers perceive COVID stats and use them to make higher well being selections.