COVID-19 resources

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The idiosyncratic impact of an aggregate shock: the distributional consequences of COVID-19

Understanding Society

Using new data from the Understanding Society: COVID 19 survey collected in April 2020, we show how the aggregate shock caused by the pandemic affects individuals across the distribution. The survey collects data from existing members of the Understanding Society panel survey who have been followed for up to 10 years. Understanding Society is based on probability samples and the Understanding Society COVID19 Survey is carefully constructed to support valid population inferences. Further, the panel allows comparisons with a pre-pandemic baseline. We document how the shock of the pandemic translates into different economic shocks for different types of worker: those with less education and precarious employment face the biggest economic shocks. Some of those affected are able to mitigate the impact of the economic shocks: universal credit protects those in the bottom quintile, for example. We estimate the prevalence of the different measures individuals and households take to mitigate the shocks. We show that the opportunities for mitigation are most limited for those in need.

Last updated on hub: 09 February 2021

The IFS Deaton review of inequalities: a New Year’s message

Institute of Fiscal Studies

This report reflects on the impact of Covid-19 on inequalities and the lessons learned during 2020. COVID-19 seems to have shone a light on many of the issues we raised pre-pandemic, more vividly than we ever could have. At the same time, public policy responses have been of a type and magnitude previously unimaginable. Key messages include: the COVID crisis has exacerbated inequalities between the high- and low-paid and between graduates and non-graduates; the crisis has hit the self-employed and others in insecure and non-traditional forms of employment especially hard; educational inequalities will almost certainly have been exacerbated by the crisis; between March and July, mortality rates from COVID-19 were twice as high in the most deprived areas as in the least deprived; the crisis has had very different impacts on different ethnic groups – mortality rates from COVID-19 among some black groups have been twice those among the white British; through 2020, pensioners have on average reported becoming financially better off, whilst the young have borne the brunt of job and income loss.

Last updated on hub: 06 January 2021

The impact of COVID-19 lockdown measures on the physical health of people living with severe mental illness

Rethink Mental Illness

This briefing looks at the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the physical health of people living with severe mental illness (SMI), based on the responses to a survey of 1,434 people. The briefing highlights key findings and outlines concerns about the implications of lockdown restrictions on people with severe mental illness, who already die on average 15 to 20 years earlier than the general population. Over half of respondents have been exercising less and eating less healthily during lockdown and said they were eating less healthily than usual. Respondents reported that they were smoking (16%) and drinking (23%) more than usual and a small proportion also said they were using more illicit drugs (3%) – these were likely used as coping strategies or to alleviate boredom. The paper recommends reinstating physical health checks for people with SMI and relevant system targets; co-producing targeted communications with people severe mental illness; gathering lessons from the implementation of the Community Mental Health Framework; addressing the needs of those with SMI in the government emerging obesity strategy linked to COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 06 July 2020

The impact of COVID-19 measures on well-being of older long-term care facility residents in the Netherlands

Journal of the American Medical Directors Association

The fear of the new Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) globally forced health authorities to take drastic actions to prevent spreading of infections among citizens. Long-term care facility (LTCF) residents are especially susceptible for fatal or severe outcomes of COVID-19 infection because of high prevalence of frailty and comorbidity, sometimes atypical COVID-19 symptoms, and circumstances such as insufficient personal protective equipment and testing capacity, and staff working while having mild symptoms.1,2 On March 20, 2020, the Dutch government implemented a visitor ban in all LTCFs. In many instances physical visits were replaced by social contact via telephone and video calls, or through windows. Many LTCFs closed social facilities and stopped daytime programs. Although the LTCF's policy prioritized safety, scarce attention was paid to well-being and autonomy. The study aims to gain insight into the consequences of COVID-19 measures on loneliness, mood, and behavioural problems in residents in Dutch LTCFs.

Last updated on hub: 07 December 2020

The impact of COVID-19 on adjusted mortality risk in care homes for older adults in Wales, UK: a retrospective population-based cohort study for mortality in 2016–2020

Age and Ageing

Background: mortality in care homes has had a prominent focus during the COVID-19 outbreak. Care homes are particularly vulnerable to the spread of infectious diseases, which may lead to increased mortality risk. Multiple and interconnected challenges face the care home sector in the prevention and management of outbreaks of COVID-19, including adequate supply of personal protective equipment, staff shortages and insufficient or lack of timely COVID-19 testing. Aim: to analyse the mortality of older care home residents in Wales during COVID-19 lockdown and compare this across the population of Wales and the previous 4 years. Study Design and Setting: we used anonymised electronic health records and administrative data from the secure anonymised information linkage databank to create a cross-sectional cohort study. We anonymously linked data for Welsh residents to mortality data up to the 14th June 2020.Methodswe calculated survival curves and adjusted Cox proportional hazards models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for the risk of mortality. We adjusted HRs for age, gender, social economic status and prior health conditions. Results: survival curves show an increased proportion of deaths between 23rd March and 14th June 2020 in care homes for older people, with an adjusted HR of 1.72 (1.55, 1.90) compared with 2016. Compared with the general population in 2016–2019, adjusted care home mortality HRs for older adults rose from 2.15 (2.11, 2.20) in 2016–2019 to 2.94 (2.81, 3.08) in 2020. Conclusions: the survival curves and increased HRs show a significantly increased risk of death in the 2020 study periods.

Last updated on hub: 21 January 2021

The impact of COVID-19 on adjusted mortality risk in care homes for older adults in Wales, UK: a retrospective population-based cohort study for mortality in 2016–2020

Age and Ageing

Background: mortality in care homes has had a prominent focus during the COVID-19 outbreak. Care homes are particularly vulnerable to the spread of infectious diseases, which may lead to increased mortality risk. Multiple and interconnected challenges face the care home sector in the prevention and management of outbreaks of COVID-19, including adequate supply of personal protective equipment, staff shortages and insufficient or lack of timely COVID-19 testing. Aim: to analyse the mortality of older care home residents in Wales during COVID-19 lockdown and compare this across the population of Wales and the previous 4 years. Study Design and Setting: This study used anonymised electronic health records and administrative data from the secure anonymised information linkage databank to create a cross-sectional cohort study. This study anonymously linked data for Welsh residents to mortality data up to the 14th June 2020. Methods: This study calculated survival curves and adjusted Cox proportional hazards models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for the risk of mortality. The researchers adjusted HRs for age, gender, social economic status and prior health conditions. Results: survival curves show an increased proportion of deaths between 23rd March and 14th June 2020 in care homes for older people, with an adjusted HR of 1.72 (1.55, 1.90) compared with 2016. Compared with the general population in 2016–2019, adjusted care home mortality HRs for older adults rose from 2.15 (2.11, 2.20) in 2016–2019 to 2.94 (2.81, 3.08) in 2020. Conclusions: the survival curves and increased HRs show a significantly increased risk of death in the 2020 study periods.

Last updated on hub: 07 December 2020

The impact of COVID-19 on black, Asian and minority ethnic communities

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) West

This rapid evidence review looked at the factors influencing the risk of death from COVID-19 among black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. The review found the risk of death from COVID-19 is generally higher amongst black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) communities than white British people. This appears to be due to a complex mixture of factors, and no one factor alone can explain all of the difference. Contributing factors include, in no particular order: being poorer, where people live, overcrowded housing, types of job, other illnesses, and access to health services.

Last updated on hub: 10 June 2020

The impact of COVID19 on child criminal exploitation: interim research briefing

University of Nottingham

Through an analysis of primary interviews and a review of published sources this project aims to unpack the contours of risk related to the exploitation of young people in County Lines drug supply during the pandemic. The interviewees (N=13) were drawn from law enforcement, local authorities and a care-providing NGO, across a variety of geographic counties in England. Participants were asked to reflect on their personal experiences of working during the pandemic, its effect on the risk to service clients and observed impacts on activity related to the County Lines drug supply model. COVID-19 restrictions hamper the ability of frontline agencies to risk-assess child exploitation, and exacerbate the potential for County Lines related exploitation and harm to remain hidden. Ongoing concerns include: safeguarding capacity; evolving County Lines supply methods, including increased levels of cuckooing with young people remaining in traphouses for longer, greater use of local children involved in transporting drugs, perpetrators claiming to have COVID19 in order to avoid being stopped, questioned and arrested, and use of supermarket carparks to co-locate with customer shopping routines; and the implications for children and young people – heightened risk of exploitation due to greater social media and internet use; feelings of isolation, and greater substance misuse among children residing away from family members.

Last updated on hub: 13 January 2021

The impact of COVID-19 on children and young people

The Children's Society

This briefing outlines policy recommendations for Government around the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on children and young people. It includes recommendations to support children in poverty; refugee and migrant children; and young people at risk, such as looked after children, children experiencing child abuse and neglect, young carers and children at risk of sexual and criminal exploitation. The briefing also outlines the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children's mental health and wellbeing.

Last updated on hub: 01 April 2020

The impact of COVID-19 on children and young people in Scotland

Public Health Scotland

This document is one of a planned series of papers that will consider the possible positive and adverse consequences of the pandemic on children’s and young people’s development and wellbeing at different ages and stages of their lives. The purpose is to provide evidence to support planning and action to reduce or prevent negative outcomes (including in the event of future ‘lockdowns’), and promote positive futures for this generation of children and young people. Key messages include: COVID-19 and in particular the infection control measures, including lockdown, have had a profound impact on 2–4 year old children in Scotland; family environment – parents felt that lockdown had enabled them to maintain good relationships with their children except for a small minority who felt their relationship with their child had worsened; physical development – children had largely remained active in lockdown although quality of sleep for many children had deteriorated; social development – many families saw a reduction in their income and parents often exhibited a high level of stress which would have affected the children; learning experiences – the opportunity to mix with other children was severely restricted during lockdown; development and wellbeing – a substantial proportion of children suffered from mental health and wellbeing difficulties during lockdown; access to services – an important minority of parents found it difficult to access children’s services during the pandemic.

Last updated on hub: 01 December 2020

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