Neil's Noodlemaps

We're about to learn a terrible lesson from coronavirus: inequality kills

Austerity.

Like every crisis, this one is likely to affect working-class and poor people worst. That is not inevitable. It’s a choice – and one within our power to stop, if only we had the will to do so.

Men living in the poorest communities in the UK have an average of 9.4 years shorn off their life expectancies compared with those in the richest areas;

1 super rich can avoid it

The super-rich are fleeing on private jets to luxury boltholes in foreign climes, while the well-to-do may deploy their private health insurance to circumvent our already struggling and soon to be overrun National Health Service

2 blue collar workers can't

Uber drivers, Deliveroo riders, cleaners: all in low-paid jobs, often with families to feed. Many will feel they have no choice but to keep working. While many middle-class professionals can protect themselves by working from home, supermarket shelves cannot be stacked remotely, and the same applies from factory workers to cleaners

3 health inequality already exists

British Heart Foundation found that working-class Tameside in the north-west has a heart disease mortality rate more than three times higher than well-to-do Kensington and Chelsea

same with asthma, diabetes

4 stress and depression weaken immune system

We know that depression and stress weaken our immune systems, and the research is clear: those on low incomes are disproportionately likely to suffer from poor mental health.

A decade of austerity, and a social order that deprives millions of citizens of a comfortable existence, will mean many more deaths in the coming weeks and months that could have been avoided.

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This page last updated: 2020-03-17 Tue 09:47. All recent changes