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Older people are far more likely to be in poverty in the UK than elsewhere, which can increase their risk of both catching and dying from the disease.
@martinmckee Sure (and thanks for talking to us for the story!) tho I think "UK government " can be an unhelpful term in that case, since different devolved govts are doing different things, and the relationship between policy and results is not nearly as neat as some (not you!) have suggested
@martinmckee And for me, the issue of whether governments (and populations at large) care sufficiently, and at what level of cases/deaths different levels of caring (and specific actions) should kick in is a really important but separate topic to what I discussed in thread
Couple more bits based on common feedback: • UK — and in particular England — late vaccination of children definitely a factor too (we addressed this in the story FWIW). Not so much because of direct risk to kids, but kids spread to older groups
• Some saying weather/climate could be a factor if it leads to more time indoors in UK (and esp Scotland) than FR/ES/DE/IT. Agreed.
• ...and to pre-empt the "if it’s weather/climate, then why no surge in Nordics?" a) I don’t know b) but my guess would be that the same structural factors that have kept most of the Nordics relatively low-Covid for 18 months are still doing their thing
@michellebenato tbf that does play a part, and is why I didn’t include any straight comparisons of case rates, only cases among over-60s, where the testing disparity is reduced
NEW: a common response to reports of hospitals struggling this winter is "it’s no different to a bad flu season!" I’ve tracked down historical data on flu ICU admissions, including winter 2017-18, a record high. Here’s how England’s Covid winter compares to a bad flu season 📹
NEW: there’s been a lot of chatter about why cases, hospitalisations and deaths are much higher in the UK than elsewhere in Western Europe. I think a lot of the commentary has been overly simplistic, politicised and at-times flat-out wrong. Let’s see if we can do better:
NEW: people worry when they hear "40% of hospitalisations are fully vaxxed", but this chart shows that's actually good news. The more people you vaccinate, the higher their share of hospitalisations, but the *total* number in hospital is a fraction of what it would otherwise be
NEW: a deep-dive into the situation in India, where a devastating second wave is overwhelming hospitals and crematoriums, eclipsing global records as it goes 250,000 new cases every day, and test positivity is soaring suggesting many are still missed
New project: A “Bar Chart Race” animation showing the changing ranks of the 10 biggest cities in the world since 1500. Fascinating to watch giant cities vanish after falling in conquests, and amazing that three UK cities were in the top 8 in the late 1800s.