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Here in Spain, we are entering week four of lockdown due to the COVID-19 virus. I check the worldwide figures on a daily basis and admit to the odd frisson as I look at the statistics...a frisson which is not virus-related, not linked to seeing the numbers increasing or morbid interest in the numbers of deaths. It's more a revival of my previous relationship with statistics.

I often refer to my past as my 'previous lives' as I seem to have followed not a curving path along the years, but have taken several sharp turns in one direction or the other. As a student at school, I was ridiculously bad at maths. Failed not one, but two attempts at securing the important 'O' level with an unclassified result (meaning it was so utterly rubbish that it wasn't worth grading, not even as one of the lesser CSEs). In Sixth Form, I was entered for another type of exam, whose name escapes me, but it was a mixture of 'O' level and CSE and was probably very difficult to fail. I remember the exam, even though it was an eon ago. All the questions were multiple choice...every single one. I was smart enough to realise that I had a better chance with this one, statistically speaking!