View Full Version : A way to visualize statistics

08-01-21, 20:34
Hi everyone,

I found this forum after searching on google and I have been suffering from severe health anxiety for about 6 months to a year. I can't believe how strong it is! Anyway, here's what I wanted to say.

Google (yes, we love dr google) says that your chances of getting rabies in the US for example is low, we know this. However we don't believe it. Let's consider it. We're assuming that we're having a bad year and there are three rabies cases! Oh no!! It's gonna be us, right? Well, let's think about it. That means at maximum 3/325,000,000 will get it and die, which reduces to 1/108,333,333 (there's one to three cases per year out of all the people in the US). Oh no.. Our number's looking a little low... How scary! I'm gonna get it, right?!!?!?!?

No. Let's keep going.

If you understand that half of those deaths is from someone ignoring it when we never would (they got bit by a raccoon [they didn't just touch it, they didn't just see it, it didnt just brush them - they got B I T, LET THAT SINK IN]) and it was acting SUPER funny, it wasn't slightly dehydrated or something, it was PANICKING and running around and foaming and being REALLY scary, not our version of scary, but ACTUALLY scary, but they went, eh... ill probably be fine... LIKE WE NEVER EVER WOULD), then you can half that number - now we're talk about the exposures from a "I don't know how I got it" exposure. (and trust me, it's far more than half, so we're being generous). So we can divide that by two: about 1/216,666,666. I'm talking from the same things we worry about - "what if it was the liquid I saw on the ground? What if that bat bit me and I didn't know it? What if my cat has it even though they literally have no signs of it? etc." All the things that we know other people don't worry about, but we think, we should be worried - we're assuming that makes up HALF of the cases (IT DOESN'T, it's WAY less, but let's let our anxious minds be as scared as possible and assume that our fears are half of all cases), and you get... one in 216,666,666.
Feel better?
What? What do you mean, no?
Oh god. I can hear it.
I can hear it already...
"Yeah, but what if I'm that one in 216 million...?"

Easy. I'll show you. Let's play a game.

Have you ever seen what 1,000,000 looks like visualized? Here's some examples:



I DARE you to go to either of these sites and scroll across it until you get to the end.
now let this sink in: For you to get rabies, you have to pick the SAME dot I did. I really did pick one, you know.

I dare you GO PICK ONE!!! That's what you're saying when you're saying you have this disease. It's like trying to pick out one dot out of all of those.

What's that...?
You still don't feel reassured? Not enough dots for you? Hmm...

Let's say... out of some impossibly small chance....... you pick the same dot I did. After all, there's not really that many dots on that page, are there? Well guess what.

I didn't say it was one in one million. I said it was one in TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTEEN MILLION. That means you need to pick out of two hundred and sixteen million dots.
Go on. I'm waiting. Open up that page TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN MORE TIMES - NOW, out of ALL OF THOSE.... pick the dot that I picked out of all of those two hundred and sixteen pages of a million dots.

Good luck.

You don't have rabies, and neither do I.

08-01-21, 20:57
Great post!

Positive thoughts