An article published today in the British Medical Journal argues that health inequalities are likely to widen without action to support those must vulnerable to the economic and other effects of social distancing measures.
The authors, including Dr Vittal Katikireddi of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow, discuss the profound social, economic, and health consequences of the strict controls on movement introduced in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
They identify several groups which may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of both the pandemic and the social distancing measures, the economic effects, social isolation and strains on family relationships. The negative indirect effects from the pandemic response are borne disproportionately by people who already have fewer resources and poorer health.
They argue that in the short term, actions must be targeted to support the most vulnerable people. In the longer term, policy decisions made now will shape the future economy in ways that could either improve or damage sustainability, health, and health inequalities.
Read the paper on the British Medical Journal website: Mitigating the wider health effects of covid-19 pandemic response
- Margaret Douglas, Master of Public Health programme co-director, Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh, and Public Health Scotland
- Srinivasa Vittal Katikireddi, clinical senior research fellow, MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit. University of Glasgow and Public Health Scotland
- Martin Taulbut, information manager, Public Health Scotland
- Martin McKee, Professor of European Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
- Gerry McCartney, consultant in public health, Public Health Scotland