I WAS doing some jobs around the house over the weekend and was listening to a talk radio station while I worked.

It was a somewhat intense and esoteric phone in programme about the use and abuse of statistics relating to coronavirus deaths.

What had prompted the discussion was the ever-increasing death toll as the UK edged closer to being the worst-affected country in Europe and second only to the United States in the total number of deaths.

The presenter, not unreasonably, was saying that it was both unfair and inaccurate to make that assertion because not all countries were counting the dead the same way.

Some weren’t including care home deaths while some weren’t including ‘community’ deaths. Some countries counted a coronavirus death as someone who tested positive for Covid-19 whether or not the virus was a contributory factor, some weren’t. And some countries weren’t counting deaths as coronavirus-related where the virus was merely suspected and not confirmed by testing.

In the end, I somewhat changed my opinion and agreed there was little to be gained from making that crude ‘league table’ comparison with other countries.

In reality, the UK’s official headline death total of 28,446 at time of writing is shocking enough.

As Mark Twain popularised: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

So it’s with some trepidation that I venture into the world of statistics but these stats are fairly easy to follow. They were correct as of 5pm on Sunday.

New Zealand has a population of just under five million people. Penketh, according to Warrington Council’s website, has a population of around 10,000 people.

So I pose the question: How many people have died of coronavirus in New Zealand and how many people have died of coronavirus in Penketh?

Well, the total number of coronavirus deaths in New Zealand is 20. The total number of coronavirus deaths in Penketh is 19. Yes, that’s right, almost as many deaths in one tiny part of Warrington as an entire country.

Any wonder then that I was truly appalled when I saw pictures on social media of absolute idiots who think it’s a good idea to drive to the Ferry pub in Penketh and park up in the narrow roads so they can drink, fish have a barbecue and generally party as though everything’s well with the world.

I know the police have moved on these ‘revellers’ at least once before and they have a difficult enough job as it is but I really do wish they would start fining these people.

I don’t normally revisit previous columns or respond to comments on the Guardian’s website or Facebook page but I couldn’t let some of last week’s go without responding.

I really don’t know what to say to Peeweeturban who thought is was in order to tell me to ‘Hurry up and die you condescending curtain twitcher’. I think that comment probably edges into the realm of unacceptable and inappropriate in the current circumstances.

To the person who couldn’t make their mind up whether or not I was ‘bang on the money or a boring misery’. The truth is those two comments are not mutually exclusive. There are plenty of people who will tell you I am a boring misery but that doesn’t mean I can’t be right from time to time.

Then we come to the parent who didn’t like the fact I complained about cyclists riding on the pavement and not observing social distancing rules when passing pedestrians. The parent insisted: ‘My girls ride sensible single file they have more rights to be on the pavement then people walking. What’s the difference them riding on the road and you walking on the road?’

Really? That’s a new one on me. Cyclists have ‘more rights’ to be on a pavement than pedestrians.

Sorry, the Highway Code doesn’t seem to agree with your sense of entitlement and exceptionalism. Highway Code Rule 64: You MUST NOT cycle on a pavement. And they capital letters are the government’s, not mine.

Last week I wrote about three things that were starting to annoy me as the lockdown rolls on which prompted this response from one reader: ‘I thought the fourth thing he was going say was that laughter of children is too loud for him.’

For what it’s worth, I’m actually dealing with lockdown pretty well but that last comment couldn’t be further from the truth. I have one grandchild who lives more than 300 miles away. The one thing I am missing more than anything is the sound of her laughter in my house.

Please stay safe everyone.