As Tim Bousquet said on Friday, when you get to this stage of the Halifax Examiner annual November fundraising drive you start running out of things to say. We have a lot to get to this morning, so I will keep this short.
I want to say a few words about how Bousquet reacted when the pandemic hit. As soon as it became clear this was a major news story that would hit close to home, he more or less threw the budget out the window, ramped up pandemic coverage, and didn’t put any of the stories behind the paywall.
Now, the paywall (stories that are for subscribers only) are an important part of the Halifax Examiner’s business model. All the revenue comes from subscribers, so it makes sense to have stories that are only available for those who pay the bills. (Stories generally come out from behind the paywall after 30 days. See, for example, Joan Baxter’s two part series, “The Goldboro gamble”, below.)
But in the context of the pandemic, what made the most sense was getting as much information in front of readers as possible, and revenue models be damned.
Now, I am not privy to the Examiner’s finances (nor, as a freelancer, should I be — it’s really none of my business) but I imagine that running a whole bunch of stories you didn’t budget for had some kind of effect. But it was public service journalism, and it was important that someone do it.
We continue to provide all COVID-19 coverage free. It is the subscribers who support this work. If you already subscribe, thank you, and I hope you will renew. If you don’t subscribe yet, you can sign up here. If you already have subscription and would like to give a little more, or if you are not ready to subscribe but would like to support the Halifax Examiner, you can make a donation here. We appreciate all your subscriptions and donations.
1. COVID-19 advisories mapped
The Halifax Examiner is providing all COVID-19 coverage free.
The province reported 19 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend. That brought with it a whole slew of possible exposure notifications and raised our number of active cases to 44. (Fortunately, there is nobody currently hospitalized.)
Eleven cases may not seem like a lot, but remember we are dealing with an infection whose transmission shows exponential growth — something we know is hard for the human mind to grasp.
What does exponential growth look like? Kind of like this:
- November 18: 2 new cases
- November 20: 5 new cases
- November 21: 8 new cases
- November 22: 11 new cases
See where this is going?
As a Forbes article back in the spring put it:
Exponential growth is so powerful not because it’s necessarily fast, but because it’s relentless. Without introducing a factor to suppress it, exponential growth is an infectious disease doctor’s nightmare, particularly as more time goes on.
The “factor to suppress” it in this case is restrictions.
Tim Bousquet has put together a helpful map (how do you like them icons?) covering all current COVID-19 advisories. On Twitter he wrote:
My hope is I won’t have to update the map much. My fear is I’ll be adding all sorts of stuff.
Click on any of the virus icons in the map, and you see the details of the advisory. Some ask that people present at that time monitor for symptoms (as we should all be doing) and some say that if you were there, you should go get tested. For instance, clicking on the “Truly Tasty” icon gets you this:
CALL 811 TO GET TESTED. 6210 Quinpool Rd. Nov. 19 between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Dec. 3.
It’s also interesting to see the clusters of exposures close to each other when you zoom in on the map. It’s impossible to know whether these are related to the same individuals or are just coincidence.
While the province is not shutting down bars, restaurants, or gyms, a number of establishments have decided to either…
Read More: Riding the second wave