By Keziah Cracknell
As is the case with any new virus, COVID-19 has been and remains an enigma. There’s still so much we don’t know, and many people are interpreting the few statistics we do have and coming up with results that can end up misconstrued or out of date very quickly.
The government has made it clear that their statistics have not always represented the true total number of deaths related to COVID-19. For a while they only recorded hospital deaths of people who had been explicitly tested and confirmed to have contracted and died of complications due to COVID-19.
This left huge gaps in the numbers as it excluded a number of different scenarios surrounding certain deaths. This included people who died from respiratory problems but had not been tested for COVID-19, people who died in care homes that may have suffered from localised outbreaks, and any death outside a hospital.
The latest statistics on the number of deaths suggest a correlation between health deprivation and COVID-19 areas. Health deprivation is described as a measure of “the concentration of people dying prematurely or experiencing poor quality of mental or physical health in an area.”
When compared side by side to the concentration and location of COVID-19 deaths there is some correlation between them. There is also a higher percentage of deaths in cities, which suggest a high density of population increases the risk. This strongly suggests what we’ve known for a while now, the importance of social distancing and isolation, among highly populated areas.
However, data such as this will always be limited in some capacity, therefore, we cannot really prove anything regarding whether one particular factor weighs more on the risk of contracting and dying from COVID-19. The best we can do is continue to follow the guidelines set out by health experts, and keep ourselves up to date on any developments.