1. Reading a new @nberpubs paper on the degree to which the world's poor, largely in the developing nations of the Global South will be able to isolate & protect themselves from the Coronavirus. The findings are sobering to say the least.
2. The authors examine the ability of people to isolate & physically distance, regularly wash their hands, get reliable information on the virus, & have access to health care, as per WHO guidelines.
3. They look at to what degree people have what they term a "home environment for protection" from the virus.
4. To get at this look at a decade of detailed Demographic and Health Surveys for 54 countries.
5. They assess whether a household has:
- Its own toilet
- Running water
- People sleep in rooms of 2 or less people
- A phone, internet, TV or radio to get timely information
6. And a place for hand-washing with soap.
7. They find that it is almost completely impossible for poor people in the developing world to isolate, wash their hands or otherwise keep themselves safe from the virus.
8.Less than half (44%) of households in the developing world are able to wash their hands and less than 30% of the poorest forty percent can do so.
9. A majority of those in the poorest forty percent have more than two people per room, and do not have their own toilet. The figures are far worse for Sub-Saharan Africa on every measure.
10. 40% of the developing world's poor (the bottom forty percent) lack a formal healthcare facility within five kilometers of where they live.
11. Put it all together, only 6% of the bottom forty percent have an adequate home protection environment - and the figure falls to zero for Sub-Saharan Africa.
12. The authors write: "For most households, the recommendations that have been implemented on a massive scale in the rich world must be considered near fiction
for the world’s poor."
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