Health Inequalities worsen COVID's Impact on Communities
I would not have minded the Government's response to this pandemic so much if it had done more to address the root causes of poor health. This pandemic has highlighted that deprived communities suffer the greatest from pandemics, both directly and indirectly.
More evidence is produced by the day to support this claim. Here is an example:
This report has been produced by the UCL Institute of Health Equity and commissioned by the Health Foundation as part of its COVID-19 impact inquiry to investigate how the pandemic has affected health inequalities in England.
The report highlights that:
inequalities in social and economic conditions before the pandemic contributed to the high and unequal death toll from COVID-19
the nation’s health should be the highest priority for government as we rebuild from the pandemic
the economy and health are strongly linked – managing the pandemic well allows the economy to flourish in the longer term, which is supportive of health
reducing health inequalities, including those exacerbated by the pandemic, requires long-term policies with equity at the heart
to build back fairer from the pandemic, multi-sector action from all levels of government is needed
investment in public health needs to be increased to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on health and health inequalities, and on the social determinants of health.
In previous articles, I have argued that nobody ever needed to die from COVID-19 unless they were already about to depart. This opinion has not changed but is reinforced by the growing body of evidence that the response while appearing to be effective, is, in fact, myopic and has created far more problems than anything it might have solved.
The Government and its advisers have focused on one way out only, via the vaccination of the entire population with a drug that looks like it is causing more deaths and ill health than the disease itself. You've got to remember that this virus is barely a threat to healthy people in the first place, and we now have excellent prophylactics and treatments, if only the "Powers-That-Be" would allow our good doctors to do their job without interference.
It is incomprehensible to give healthy people a drug with more side effects, including permanent disability and death, than if they caught the disease!
While there is talk about addressing the root causes of vulnerability to disease, such as poverty, poor housing stock and availability, malnutrition, sugar-addiction, vitamin D deficiency and so on, the reality is that there is too little action. In many areas, progress is not being made at all. We are going backwards. There is too much hot air.
Without addressing the underlying drivers of ill health, the vaccine is not going to save us. Instead, this myopic solution we have had imposed on us will leave our most vulnerable populations, including many of my Pacific relatives, more vulnerable to the next COVID variant or the new pandemic virus waiting to evolve, then sweep through the population.
The consequences of their actions do not seem to bother the privileged ones who advise the Government or run. Nor does it seem to bother those we have elected to govern us. Is it because these health crises keep them in their jobs and in power for another term or two? Is it because these people are the ones who get the big pay bonuses, the gongs and other awards while the rest of us get to carry the can? This makes me feel very angry.