Those same people are more likely to have chronic conditions excluded by the Global Burden of Disease – due to poverty, lack of universal health care, lack of access to higher quality food, and a system public health removed, by some calculations, in the amount of $ 4.5 billion before COVID-19 was even a bat in the eyes of the bat. “Your risk of dying if you have no underlying comorbidity is less than 0.1 percent,” Galea said. “People with lower socioeconomic positions and people of color are at greater risk. For some reason, that is simple.”
To paraphrase a famous book, that is a hell of a catch. The virus caused by COVID-19 has always been deadly. But fewer people in poverty, fewer people with conditions that have become dangerous comorbidities, and a better health care system focused on prevention than magic-bullet cures mean the same Deadly virus kills fewer people. “Why did COVID have a problem getting started?”; Galea asked. “One, we have historically invested in the public health systems necessary to keep us healthy. And two, we have invested in the social and economic conditions that create a healthy world.”
And the catch becomes catchier. Earlier this week in an article on Journal of the American Medical Association, two Harvard economists calculate that all deaths and illnesses from COVID-19 to date, and those likely to occur before mid-2021, are accompanied by economic losses, mental depression, and lost output , will add up to an amazing number: $ 16 trillion. That is nearly 90 percent of the US annual gross domestic product. “For a family of four, the estimated loss is about $ 200,000,” economists wrote. “Approximately half of this amount is lost income from the COVID-19-induced recession; the rest are the economic effects of shorter and less healthy lives.”
Even yan burden is distributed unfairly. “By shutting down the economy, we are hurting poor people and colored, more economically, than keeping open,” said Alan Krupnick, an economist and senior fellow at Resources for the Future. “But you can’t open the economy until people have reasonable hopes that they will be safe when they go to a restaurant or bar, or work. The disease needs to be taken care of first so that the economy can flourish.” impact on revenue, and it creates a feedback loop. Trying to deal with the effects of the pandemic after it swallows the economy makes the economic effects worse at its weakest … which means to survive financially, they have to expose themselves to more risk … that makes their comorbidities more dangerous.
Some researchers describe COVID-19 as not a pandemic but a “syndicate” —a synergistic epidemic of related, overlapping problems, each exacerbating the other. That’s bad But in the bright (-ish) part, syndemics offer a lot of opportunity targets. Expensive drugs and expedited vaccine tests are the kind of long shots you only need to bet on if you (or your government) do not put tedious, population-based public health work ahead end. The Global Burden of Disease report quietly indicates that it is not too late. For COVID-19 specifically, that is messaging on wearing masks, figuring out how to deploy extensive improvements in ventilation systems, and getting people to help them stay home. All of that worked in Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, and even in Wuhan. It can work here. But GBD numbers show how to build a system that can deal with all sorts of other problems, including infectious surprises like SARS-CoV-2. And that same system will make for a happier, healthier world – one that is tough enough to dispel a SARS-CoV-3 someday, too.
This story originally appeared on wired.com.