Many of us are asking the same question just now: will I catch coronavirus?

Now a Scottish maths whizz has calculated the odds of contracting Covid-19. 

Fergus Simpson holds a PhD from Cambridge University and currently works as a machine learning researcher at, a world-famous artificial intelligence firm. 

He is an expert in Bayesian statistics, a complex field of mathematics which is used to calculate the probability of an event occurring.

Simpson told The Herald: "I want people to worry less, but at the same time, not so much that they might ignore the really very important advice on social distancing."

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He's published a piece of research which is designed to help people understand the true risks of contracting Covid-19.

"I’m a statistician, not a virologist or an epidemiologist," he wrote. 

"In terms of actions, my recommendation is simply to pay attention to the advice being offered by experts in public health (and ignore anyone else)."

Simpson said his aim is to make sure people understand why they are being asked to self-isolate and "why you should be carrying out these actions without undue concern".

His calculations are illustrated with a comparison to the odds of throwing a set of dice and having them all land on six. 

The chance of getting a six by throwing one dice is, of course, one in six. 

But use six dices and the chance of having them all land on six is a little more than one in 50,000.

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His research said there is a "nine dice" risk of dying in a crash when you take a flight or embark on a long drive. 

This means you're as likely to be in a fatal crash as you are to roll nine sixes - so are probably going to be safe. 

In the early stages of an epidemic when the virus is first beginning to spread through a country and just one in ten million people catch the virus each day, you will face a nine disk risk.

This increases as the number of infected people grows.

If there is an infection rate of one in ten million people every day, you will face a four dice risk by week six of the spread.

"This would mean that around one in 1,300 people are contracting it each day," Simpson wrote. 

"For a country the size of the United Kingdom or Italy, that would be over 40,000 new infections each day."

We asked Simpson what the odds are of a person catching coronavirus today.

He said "If you were to carry on life as normal, it would be in the region of 1,000 to 1 each day (as of March 23), and those odds are getting progressively worse each day.

"By following public health guidelines such as social distancing, then this risk can be greatly reduced."