An article in the Telegraph on the 21st April 2020 stated that: “Cities with worst air pollution have bigger coronavirus outbreaks, say scientists”.
A study by Cambridge University says that cities with worse air quality have bigger outbreaks of cases. Levels of nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen oxide, which come mainly from traffic fumes, are worse in London, the Midlands and the north west, and deaths of people with Covid-19 follow the same trend.
The scientists admit that further work needs to be done to confirm these results, but they see the link to northern Italy and the USA, where higher levels of pollution are linked to deadlier cases of Covid-19.
And of course, there's work...
As well as pure geography, there’s the question of WHAT you’re doing and how you catch Covid-19. You’re fairly safe if you’re self-isolating, having your shopping delivered and washing your hands or sanitising regularly. That only applies to 29% of people in the USA – we’re not sure about the UK.
Early models indicate that self-isolating only works if 80-90% of people do it. If only 70% isolate it won’t work.
It doesn’t apply if you’re a front line worker, or if you still have to go to work.
This infographic from Visual Capitalist shows how likely different jobs are to catch Covid-19, and their salary (in US dollars).
Their score for each occupation is based on evaluating the data on three physical job attributes:
Contact With Others:
How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others in order to perform it?
To what extent does this job require the worker to perform tasks in close physical proximity to others?
Exposure to Disease and Infection:
How often does this job require exposure to hazardous conditions?
They then aggregated these to give a Risk Score from 0 to 100.
The size of the blob indicates how many people in the US do that job, and green is health workers and blue is other.
The further right the blob, the higher the risk and the higher the blob the more money they earn.
This shows quite clearly how health workers are bearing the greatest risk from Covid-19.
...and who you are affects it too
We saw an article in the Guardian saying that, of the people who died in hospital, 19% were Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) even though these groups make up only 15% of the general population in England. It involving analysing deaths from Covid-19 up to April 19 2020.
We looked at the data sources for this.
This seems to mirror findings in other countries.
The analysis is based on data from two sources: one was from the NHS, and the other from the Office or National Statistics breaking down deaths up to 3 April, enabling the matching of deaths to data on pollution, age, deprivation, population density and BAME populations in England and Wales for the first time.
We then looked at more base sources for this data, and found the intensive care national audit and research centre and the ICNARC report on COVID-19 in critical care.
Note the ‘block’ of Covid-19 white patients is lower than the (orange line) corresponding %-age of the population which in turn is lower than the (blue line) %-age of people with viral pneumonia. Meaning the rest is the opposite.
The report presents analyses of data on patients critically ill with confirmed COVID-19
reported to ICNARC up to 4pm on 16 April 2020 from critical care units participating in the Case Mix Programme in England and Wales
It also shows the same data for an historic cohort of patients critically ill with viral pneumonia (non-COVID-19) during the years 2017-19. This is to see whether Covid-19 is behaving differently.
This shows quite clearly why we’re clapping for the NHS on a regular basis!!
The lockdown is reducing exhaust emissions significantly, so that will help.
We’re uncertain about the ethnicity findings – is it lifestyle, financial or living conditions based?
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