Skip to main content

COVID-19 - a lockdown without a strategy

It is said that COVID-19 doesn't discriminate. This isn't strictly true. If you live in poor housing conditions and overcrowding you are more likely to be affected by the virus.

More than a quarter of a million households in the UK are living in overcrowded private rented housing. 300,000 households are squeezed into inadequate social housing.



People living in poor housing are more likely to have underlying respiratory conditions, more likely to find social distancing difficult. It will be more difficult to maintain hygiene levels. More overcrowding means greater stress and mental health issues.

Little of the problem of overcrowding is being addressed by the government, and there is little to no help being offered to help these families cope with the COVID-19 lockdown.

Poor housing conditions and overcrowding has increased over the last decade as the most vulnerable have been affected by austerity.  This is why we have said before that austerity kills.  It increases the risks of underlying health issues.

Overcrowding in housing also increases the likelihood of mental health problems.  Simply coping with the appalling living conditions is bad enough, but having to deal with its impact on children and young people also has consequences.  

Poor housing conditions will make it increasingly difficult for those families affected to cope with social distancing.  It is more likely that that overcrowding will increase the spread of the virus.  

Poor housing is putting people's lives at risk.  Yet, they will be the first to be blamed if they breach the social distancing rules.  

Little to nothing has been done to help these families get the fresh air and exercise they need.  Little provision has been made for children isolated in their homes, unable to go out to play.   

This is a lockdown, without a strategy.

See also Ray Noble's article at Voices from Oxford,  A blind strategy for COVID-19?


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ian Duncan-Smith says he wants to make those on benefits 'better people'!

By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'.  The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services. It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared. Utilitarian ethics considers the ba

A time for every purpose

All life moves. Or, more precisely, all life moves purposefully.  This is true even for trees and plants.  Movement is essential for maintaining life.  Animals migrate; plants disperse.  Some form of migration is an ingredient of all life.  For many organisms, it is a key function of reproduction.  We don't reproduce merely to create a new organism, but also to disperse the population - finding new fertile ground, or resources. Reproduction is a form of migration. Reproduction isn't merely to replicate. Reproduction produces change and diversity.  While we may have strong resemblences in families, we also have differences.  Creating a difference is how evolution works.  In this sense, nature is a continuous exploratory process, finding what works best.  Nature senses change and responds.  Some of this is immediate and physiological or behavioural; some of it is over generations.  If we look at a forest over long periods of time, we would see that it shifts. There is a movement

Noise pollution puts nature at risk

 "I just want a bit of peace and quiet!" Let's get away from all the hustle and bustle; the sound of endless traffic on the roads, of the trains on the railway, and the planes in the sky; the incessant drone; the noise. We live in a world of man-made noise; screeching, bellowing, on-and-on in an unmelodious cacophony.  This constant background noise has now become a significant health hazard.   With average background levels of 60 decibels, those who live in cities are often exposed to noise over 85 decibels, enough to cause significant hearing loss over time.  It causes stress, high blood pressure, headache and loss of sleep and poor health and well-being.   In nature, noise has content and significance.  From the roar of the lion, the laughing of a hyena,  communication is essential for life; as the warning of danger, for bonding as a group or a pair, finding a mate, or for establishing a position in a hierarchy - chattering works.  Staying in touch is vital to working