Viviana Egidi (Sapienza University of Rome), Piero Manfredi (University of Pisa)
The first wave – likely not the unique – of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is ravaging the planet from a few months only and yet, in order to describe its dramatic demographic and socio-economic impact, the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic and the Great 1929 recession have been already evoked. Although the ultimate outcomes of the Covid-19 pandemic depend still on a wide number of unknowns, yet it is becoming clear that its consequences were largely modulated by a number of existing inequality gradients. And in turn, these gradients might dramatically worsen for long time in the future as a consequence of the pandemic. Assessments of these phenomena and the underlying causes, as well as the direct and indirect implications of current and future control measures, is critical for driving the world population out of the crisis.
This Genus Thematic Series aims to offer an updated examination of the key population dynamics and demographic and socio-economic implications of the Covid-19 pandemic – and of policies to face it – at a range of geographic, socio-economic, socio-demographic, and temporal scales.
The demography of Covid-19
With its peculiar epidemiological features and its burden of serious morbidity and mortality, the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the responsible of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, has proved able to threat the hospitals systems of modern industrialised countries even with large-scale interventions enacted. Covid-19 has shown to be highly selective in both symptoms onset, serious disease, and its subsequent outcomes. Indeed, despite the many unknowns, evidence of dramatic gradients in attack rates and mortality in relation to differences in e.g., age, gender, geographic setting, socio-economic status, and pre-existing health conditions (e.g., presence on comorbidities), has emerged.
Also, the interventions that have been enacted in different settings worldwide to control this epidemic wave have been far from neutral. Not to say about the interventions that will have to be enacted in the future to prevent or mitigate the effects of possible further waves.
Following China, a number of western countries have aimed at epidemic control, or even epidemic suppression, by large-scale social distancing measures (“lockdown”). This was unavoidable to prevent the collapse of hospital systems and the resulting bulge in mortality. However, these measures, often different between and even within countries, showed different mitigation results depending on a number of factors including the scale of the epidemic at lockdown time, the organization and … READ MORE