it has become one of the grim routines of recent life that we document daily rises in cases of coronavirus, and also of deaths.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人it is like an awful scoreboard, where the numbers do nothing but climb across the world.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人on the face of it, this is just one big depressing lump of numbers.
scratch deeper, and those figures tell us some important stories. but - warning - they're not very happy ones.
the important thing is that there's a pattern to these figures.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人over the past week-and-a-half, the number of new cases being reported in italy has gone up every day.
other than one day, when there was a problem with collecting the information, it has always gone up by between 20% and 27%.
on average, it goes up by something like 22%.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人now, this is blunt stuff, not least because it doesn't include unreported cases.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人but it's the best we've got, so we have to live with it.
and it gives us a chance to compare italy, europe's worst-hit nation, with everyone else.
look at the same period and you can see some stark differences.
the pace of growth in cases in italy is serious but it's much worse in other places.
in spain, for instance, the number of new cases is going up by around 39% per day.
In France, it's more than 30%. In the UK微信斗牛要从哪里拉人, around 27%.
germany is also ahead of italy.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人so, in other words, the pace at which new cases are being reported is greater in lots of european countries than it is in italy.
it's just that italy's crisis started earlier, with a huge early rush that then slowed down.
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the one to look out for is spain.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人when you are in the world of exponential growth, things can get very big, very fast.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人at the rate it has been going for the past ten days, spain's total number of cases is almost doubling every two days.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人if that rate continues then, from around 3,000 cases now, the country would have more than 80,000 in another 10 days.
ten days after that, it would - in theory - reach beyond two million.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人now clearly the spanish government will be doing what it can to stop that happening.
data from italy shows how the rate of growth fell away from an early peak, to stabilise at around 22%.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人but that has hardly stopped the nation from creaking under the pressure of an ever-growing number of cases.
what all this data shows us is that italy's path is the one that everyone else is, to an extent, following.
Nine days ago, Italy had 3,000 cases of coronavirus - now, Spain, France and Germany all have about that amount.
it's hard to believe that, in nine days, they won't be at least where italy is now - with around 15,000 cases.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人particularly in the case of spain, the number of cases may be considerably higher.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人if this feels like a miserable acceptance of inevitability, then that's exactly what it is.
i've travelled across europe over the past couple of weeks and seen similar patterns.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人i was in milan at the very start of this outbreak, where people were still in a state of denial, still trying to carry on like normal.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人now the streets are empty, patrolled by police enforcing the quarantine.
in france earlier this week, i visited a town where five people had died of the virus and found empty streets.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人the mayor down the road admitted he was frightened for people he knew.
but in paris, there was still almost no sign of crisis.
no masks, no closed schools. not until the president's dramatic address to the nation, heralding the "worst health crisis in a century".
for europe, this is a crisis - of health, but also of unity.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人the european union is based on the idea of collective work and collaboration.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人yet these past few days have been marked by different policies in different countries, borders being closed and regions, notably the italian area of lombardy, being stigmatised as carrying the burden of responsibility.
it will not be easy to forge a common path forward.
微信斗牛要从哪里拉人this will be a great challenge for ursula von der leyen and charles michel, presidents of the european commission and european council.
and all the time, the numbers tick up.
more cases, more deaths, more data, more uncertainty. and, of course, more fear.