As Coronavirus Deepens Inequality, Inequality Worsens Its Spread

Author: Max Fisher and Emma Bubola
Date: Mar 25, 2020 

It is well known that there are two factors that make coronavirus more deadly: aging, and a person’s health condition before he is infected with the virus (if he suffers from respiratory disease, or low immunity). New research indicates a third factor - not mentioned in the same way - which is the low socioeconomic status. Even for those who are above the poverty line, studies find that low income relative to the rest of society has high rates of chronic health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.
It is almost 10 percent likely to have a chronic health condition. In another way, health organizations said that people over the age of 70 were at a high risk of dying from coronavirus. But the search for chronic health conditions suggests that the threshold may be as low as the age of 55 for people with low socioeconomic status.
How does coronavirus exacerbate inequality?
The New York Times article indicates that the countries hit by the "Corona" virus have deepened the consequences of inequality, pushing economic and social burdens on vulnerable and most vulnerable groups in society. Research also indicates that the economically poor are more likely to be infected with the virus, and are more likely to die from it. If they are in good health, they are at risk of losing income or health care as a result of quarantine.
How does inequality increase the effects of coronavirus?
Even for those above the poverty line, studies have found that lower incomes for the rest of society are associated with higher rates of chronic health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. This is not always the case, but as inequality increases, health disparities widen. Preventive care and health education are firmly inclined towards educated and wealthy people. When inequality is high, the cost of living tends to rise, forcing more low-income families to go out to work and find the income they earn from. At the same time, the decline in trade unions and the increase in part-time work means that low-income workers have less protection. As a result, crises such as coronavirus can widen the gap between those who own and those who do not.