The argument to “open up” society for everyone who is determined to not be at high risk does not take into account the true numbers of who fits in that category.
•Obesity, increasing age, diabetes, and other cardiometabolic conditions are just a few of the factors that have been observed to be associated with an increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness and/or death.
•In 2017-2018, over 35% of the entire US population (children and adults) were determined to be obese
•Furthermore, it is estimated that 13% of the adult US population has diabetes.
•This doesn’t even take into account the percentage of US adults that have other pre-existing conditions that put them at greater risk of severe COVID-19.
Click here for a critical review of the Great Barrington Declaration (by Collin Catalfamo, MPH 1, Mark Nichter, PhD, MPH 2 from University of Arizona)
Claudia Morales, a graduate student from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, has written about the added effects to quality of life for disabled migrants in the United States during the Covid-19 pandemic. See the link below for the pdf.
Rituales cotidianos y retos de la población migrante con discapacidad/Daily rituals and challenges of the migrant population with disabilities
From Olivia Tulloch of Anthropologica:
I’m pleased to circulate a new SSHAP output. This is a review presenting social science considerations for care and infection prevention and control (IPC) for COVID-19 in home-care.
A couple of differences from recent outputs: we have a new design, and this one is a longer review, not our standard brief format. It explains why home care is important, provides an overview of existing guidance and models for home and community-based care, and provides themed recommendations for guidance and support.
As usual the infographic and translations will follow on the website in the coming days. This is our 10th output, and requests keep coming, so you’ll hear from me in due course.
Also I’m aware that some people did not receive notification of our recent briefs: on conflict and displacement in Mayanmar available at: https://www.socialscienceinaction.org/resources/key-considerations-covid-19-context-conflict-displacement-myanmar/
And on marginalised populations in South East Asia, available here: https://www.socialscienceinaction.org/resources/key-considerations-covid-19-management-marginalised-populations-southeast-asia-transnational-migrants-informal-workers-people-living-informal-settlements/
All the briefs are available on the website, and some recent ones below, in case you missed them.
Please tweet and share as appropriate. Please let me know if you don’t want to receive future outputs, and if there are others you feel you have missed out on, please see more information below.
Hugh Gusterson writes a powerful article on the influence that magical thinking has on coping with the types of stress we are facing now with the coronavirus pandemic. He compares the early 20th century Maji Maji Rebellion against German occupation of what is now Tanzania to the (mostly) U.S. protesters arming themselves while the practice their first amendment right to dissent.
He notes that “people turn to magic when they feel powerless” and how this magic can lead to a “sense of false security.” Conspiracy theories abound when the world around us is uncertain as well. Gusterson, briefly, lists the types of rumors and false cures that people around the world latch onto in the face of chaos and concern. He then focuses his attention on the U.S. and the different examples of magical thinking and pseudoscience. He argues that, while magical thinking and pseudoscience are coping strategies in uncertain times, they are ultimately no match against the realities of a viral pandemic and can even cause harm.
This is not the first time that pandemics have led to such ideas. During the worst of the AIDS pandemic, scientists and physicians with questionable credentials pandered “theories” and even a president failing to provide antiretroviral medications to his citizens and various “cures” including violence against women and girl children . And, during the recent Ebola epidemics, rumors of witchcraft and Western aid and medical workers using Ebola for demonic purposes spread almost as fast at the epidemic itself.
We will be managing ourselves, our children, our governments, our economies, and our world for months to come in the face of COVID-19. Part and parcel in that management is managing our stress, fears, and phobias related to sickness, health, and our health and democratic institutions. A management strategy, for better or for worse, is magical thinking, unfounded cures, and yes, sometimes violence against our most vulnerable.