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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?


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