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The other problem with Covid

By Ian Silvera
28 September 2020

You just can’t get away from the fact health and wealth are interlinked statuses, another element of our lives catalysed by the coronavirus pandemic.

A new study from Harvard University and NPR, of 3,500 American households in July and early August, shed lights on the situation in the pre-general election US, with 56% of low-income families (combined salaries below $100,000 per year) reporting serious financial problems – compared with 20% of households with incomes over $100,000. Of households that include someone who has a disability it gets worse with 63% saying they face serious financial hardship.

And, probably most tragically, almost a quarter (22%) of households in which someone has been sick with Covid-19  have had trouble affording medical care, while 9% of households that have had someone sick with the virus lost their health insurance during the pandemic. It’s grim reading despite the US unemployment rating dropping below 10% earlier this month.

The economy is also continuing to be a top concern for Australians. Only 27% of respondents to Newgate Australia’s weekly Covid-19 tracker, of 1,700 respondents between Monday 14 September and Wednesday 16 September, expected their business environment to improve by the end of the year and just 55% thought it would improve within 12 months. However, concerns around job security did drop this week (from 62% to 56%).

Britain, meanwhile, is turning on Boris Johsnon, whose government introduced a flurry of new anti-Covid-19 measures last week, including the now infamous ‘rule of six’.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has jumped ahead of the Prime Minister in the opinion polls for the first time, according to an Opinium survey for The Observer. More than half of voters (55%) now believe he is ready to be in Number 10, with Labour on 42% and the Conservatives on 39%.

Johnson will no doubt be happy that he will be facing disgruntled party members virtually this year.