Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore has been tracking COVID-19 deaths worldwide, not only the raw numbers but demographics. It’s been known for some time that older people who get the virus are more likely to die, most likely due to decreased immune system response and the presence of other medical problems, what we call co-morbidities. A study published in the UK says the death rate for infected people 80 and older is 10 times higher than for the population as a whole.
But JHU has identified two other factors impacting the death rate.
One is gender. In China, 64 percent of those who died from the virus have been men. In Italy, 63 percent. US figures are less precise but in New York City it’s been 62 percent, compared to 55 percent of hospitalizations. The hypothesis is that women’s immune systems are better suited to fight off the virus because of X chromosomes and estrogen production (plus men may be less likely to wash their hands, wear masks, and follow social distancing).
My sense from attending games for nearly 60 years is that crowds tend to be predominately male, maybe something like 60 percent. So if the fans are mostly men, that raises the risk factor for people in attendance. I’m sure UA has some kind of more precise info on who buys/uses their tickets.
And the other factor is ethnic group. Latinos and blacks in NYC are dying at a rate twice as high as whites. In Michigan, where blacks make up 14 percent of the population, they’re 40 percent of the deaths. Native American reservations in New Mexico have some of the highest infection rates in the country. Presence of co-morbidities like obesity, hypertension, diabetes and smoking is an issue here, but so is lack of access to health care which plays a role in developing those co-morbidities. And who are most of the SEC athletes in football and basketball? African Americans, who are not likely to be diabetic or smokers but may well have not had great access to health care.
I don’t know that those factors will absolutely be taken into account, but they might be, and probably should be.
I have been reading about that. I haven’t seen anything that says it, but I would bet it is more of a social-economic issue than it is race. The groups you mention are usually on the lower end of the social-economic scale. You kind of got into that right after the quoted section. As to the players, while they may not have had access to health care in the past they do while at school (probably get about as good of health care as you can get while they are on the teams) and are also most likely in great physical condition (at least as opposed to the general student population). Assuming someone is in current good health I wonder what effect the past lack of access to health care matters? Maybe a lot. But my gut tells me that matter a whole lot more if it has led to poor current health.
It’s socioeconomic to be sure. And there may be some latent racism in there too. Anecdotal to be sure, but I’m seeing reports that paramedics are more prone to blow off the complaint if a black woman reports symptoms consistent with COVID-19 than if a white male reports similar symptoms.
Yes, I saw that this morning. What really surprised me, was they said many people who were sick on the reservations lived in conditions without even running water. I guess I didn’t realize they had an abundance of conditions that primitive on the reservations.
I saw something on that a week or so ago. Blew my mind. I had no clue that anyone in the US didn’t have access to running water. Sewer? Sure, a lot are still on septic systems, but no running water? I don’t really understand how that can be. I get it if there were a few people living miles and miles from anyone else. An maybe that is the case, but that isn’t how the report I saw made it look. How can their be a community without running water???
I think we will definitely have to play in the fall if we’re to have a football season because I don’t see any way possible to play in the spring when that is exactly the highest peak time of the virus and many other huge hurdles to overcome as well,but blows my mind that they’re even thinking about that and I’ve heard nobody even mention that that is the peak time of the virus,so go figure. Time will tell
I spent a week on the Lakota Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota on a mission trip almost 2 years ago. Poverty, substance abuse, suicide, spousal abuse and about everything else you can imagine are rampart. Living conditions for most are really bad. Lots and lots of folks with bad health conditions related to the above. I’d guess that the infection rates are fueled by bad health (probably) and poor social distancing.
The winters are brutal there and summer’s get really hot. It’s so sad.
Swine brings up good talking points for epidemiologists to track and researchers to study. I think there are many factors in the disparity.
One is nutrition which appears to be poorer in ethnic populations. Another factor is plain genetic differences that are yet to be discovered…for instance we know that certain blood pressure meds don’t work as well in blacks or Latinos as they do in caucasions for some reason. I bet there are some differences in our cellular/genetic makeup that confers some protection for Covid for different races also.
There are many factors yet to be discovered with time.