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MAYBE, JUST MAYBE:
BY THE NUMBERS

I’m a numbers freak.

I read them when I wake up. I pore over them all day long. I spend a lot of time scrolling through them on my iPad before I go to sleep.  

I dive into sports box scores. I scrutinize movie and Broadway box-office receipts. I gawk at the stock market. And yes, of course, I immerse myself in Spotify, Mediabase and iTunes stats. (Apple Music would also be among my top destinations if they posted their spins, not just their positioning.)

This morning, I was pleased to note that the two Olivia Rodrigo singles are now #1 and #2 at Mediabase. It’s taken much maneuvering by, and no small amount of patience from, Team Interscope to wait out the chart-topping weeks of Lil Nas X and Doja Cat—while staying ahead of Ed Sheeran—to pull off this feat. Brava, Brenda. I saw how gigantic The Kid LAROI has become, battling the worldwide sensation that is Måneskin, not to mention Lil Nas, Olivia and the new Billie Eilish.  

Constantly looking at numbers can also lead to unfortunate revelations. About three weeks ago I wrote a column, then chose not to print it. I saw the early effects of the Delta variant. At the time, I wasn’t quite sure how big an impact it was going to have. The column discussed how I lacked the confidence of the masses and felt we needed a bit longer to evaluate safety levels.

On rare occasions, squinting at data can lead to premature conclusions. This time, the numbers are telling the right story.

So please, I implore everyone to be just a little safer for just a little longer. Get your masks out and use them. Be more mindful of social distancing. Get vaccinated—not just for yourself but to help everyone else. I still believe we can get through this. But belief is not enough.

Vaccination numbers are moving in the right direction. I’m doing my best to maintain a positive outlook as I check those numbers every day, too. And I will behave accordingly.

I’ll let you know when the numbers present themselves as a real trend.

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(Adele.)
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