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(Image: AAP/Julian Smith)

Numbers, said mathematician Paul Erdős, are beautiful. But when it comes to coronavirus, they’re also downright ugly.

That’s true whether we’re talking about the rate of infection of the virus or the size of the economic slump, which has required economists to redraw their graphs to accommodate the drop. Getting the right numbers to the right people at the right time is critical.

Yet amid the first recession in a generation, Australia is fighting blindfolded because we’re not measuring and publishing the things that matter most.