The best welfare

Where you fit in the socioeconomic picture might have more than you think to do with your COVID-19 risks


If you were lucky enough to have a high-paying job and some status within your community when the pandemic began, thank your lucky stars.

Your elevated socioeconomic status might have done as much as anything to make it so that you are alive to read this.

A peer-reviewed study of 16,000 hospitalizations in six U.S. states in the late spring of 2020 has concluded the well-to-do had about half the chance of hospitalization than the less well off.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Yale School of Public Health, and the Colorado and Georgia departments of public health. It was published Friday at PLOS ONE.

Higher socioeconomic status has been shown to be protective against many kinds of diseases, but in this case, there might also have been a link to who was best able to work from home and avoid contacts with carriers of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

Those who have observed that the best form of welfare is a good job might have been on to something.

In census tracts with the highest number of service industry workers, the researchers reported, “the COVID-19-associated hospitalization rate was 155.5  per 100,000 persons compared with a rate of 78.7” in census tracks with the lowest number of such workers.

Similar associations appeared in connection to public transportation.

In census tracks heaviest with people using public transportation, the hospitalization rate “was 142.9 per 100,000 persons compared with 77.4 in census tracts with the lowest” number of people using public transportation.

Most at risk

The study paints a picture of the U.S. citizens most susceptible to the disease as someone of limited education living in or on the edge of poverty who needs to use public transportation to get to and from work.

For those age 25 and over with a college degree, the researchers noted, the COVID hospitalization rate was a little more than half that (71.2 per 100,000) of those lacking such a degree (145.5 per 100,000).

The study was conducted at a time when many states had ordered lockdowns, and that might well have influenced who was suffering greater or lesser exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

“…Because all of these orders allowed essential work to continue, disproportionately high COVID-19-associated hospitalization rates in census tracts with lower socioeconomic indicators and among racial/ethnic minorities might represent cases in essential workers, particularly if these persons did not have access to properly fitted personal protective equipment.”

Essential workers were deemed essential because their jobs couldn’t be done from the safety of home, and there is no avoiding the fact that increased their chances of being exposed to the virus.

“…Many service industry occupations, such as restaurant work, require working onsite and sharing airspace with others,” the authors wrote. “Similarly, essential workers being exposed during commutes could explain the association between hospitalization rates and commuters using public transportation. Other data also suggest that the demand for public transportation during pandemic-related lockdowns occurred in communities serving essential workers and racial/ethnic minorities, the same two groups with increased hospitalization rates in this analysis.”

Then again, the authors noted, there could be still other factors that explain the disparities between those of differing socioeconomic status, including underlying health problems common in poverty-stricken neighborhoods.

So-called “comorbidities” have been a big issue in the pandemic. A study of nearly 5 million people hospitalized with COVID-19 between March 2020 and March 2021 reported that just under 96 percent of them had one comorbidity.

Unhealthy = risky

High blood pressure, “disorders of lipid metabolism, and obesity were the most common,” said that peer-reviewed study published in July in the Preventing Chronic Disease journal. “The strongest risk factors for death were obesity, anxiety and fear-related disorders, and diabetes with complication, as well as the total number of conditions.”

As the number of comorbidities increased, the study said, so did the risks of death.

Much has changed since – newly developed mRNA vaccines are proving amazingly effective at protecting people from fatal COVID-19 – but little has changed as well.

Deaths continue even among the vaccinated and the pattern remains much the same.

A study of breakthrough cases among the vaccinated published in The Lancet near the start of the month reported that the “pre-existing comorbidities in the 14 patients with severe or critical illness included overweight, cardiovascular disease, lung disease, malignancy, type 2 diabetes, and use of an immunosuppressive agent.”

The sample size for the study was small, but the pattern was so similar to that of the non-vaccinated that it is hard to ignore.

No matter one’s personal views on vaccination –  pro or con – the data to date continue to argue strongly for losing any excess weight and improving general physical fitness.

This is especially true if you believe the prediction of Dr. Vinay Prasad that “everyone will meet with the virus eventually.”

An associate professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco and a columnist for MedPage Today, Prasad has observed that the COVID-19 pandemic is going to end like the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-19.

It will fade, but it will not die.

“The end (of the pandemic) is not when cases go to zero,” he writes, “but rather when we accept what has been true all along. Because of multiple animal reservoirs, because vaccinated people can still experience breakthrough infections, and because billions of people globally have yet to be vaccinated, the truth is clear: SARS-CoV-2 is an endemic virus.

“Over the next decade, give or take a few years, every single person on earth has a date with this virus. We will all be exposed, and the virus might replicate in some of our respiratory mucosae. A few of us might get very sick, while many of us may only get mild illness or not get sick at all from our encounter.”






27 replies »

  1. Wouldn’t all the homeless folks in large major cities be the first to die from a pandemic?
    Not in California or New York. Their numbers are growing, so I am baffled as to what defines a pandemic?
    Poor people vs. well todo people… life is cheap, disposable and not as precious as you may think. If the conspiracy facts or fictions have any merits… then there is too many humans on our planet and a pandemic is a welcomed event, yet they are trying to save us all. Why? Why are they trying to save us all? Why is there employment worker shortages? If populations are that grand, and life is so precious, then why are humans in such short supply?

  2. I had covid. I can see how it kills. It created the strangest mucus in my nose and sinusus ,clear sticky. It happened suddenly on the 4th day of symptoms . If that was in my lower respiratory tract , it would suffocate . If I had gone for a run early in my infection and done heavy breathing from my nose into my lungs who knows. Take vitamin d before infection. I took vitamin c and zinc during infection. I also drank preservative free tonic water during infection. Tylenol for fever. Also the home test kit from Abbot bionox can give you an indication of viral load by how fast it appears and how dark the positive line is on the test.
    If you are infected especially if you are in a high risk group and unvaccinated get monoclonal antibodies as soon as possible. Hopefully the drug companies develop protease inhibitors that can stop the virus in its tracks.

  3. If the virus can’t be avoided long tern, then it is best to get the virus a few months after vaccination when, supposedly, one’s immune system is at its strongest. Best chance of a mild case this way and mostly likely to come out the other side with an even stronger immune system.
    In addition, taking off the weight and getting in shape gives each individual the best chance to survive this and move on with life.

  4. Craig,
    Thoroughly disappointed that you cannot see what this “plandemic” is doing to our society?
    Do you feel it is OK for police in countries like Canada & Australia to beat / arrest citizens for not wearing a mask or traveling too far from their homes? Are we next?
    Coronavirus has been on this planet for thousands of years, only the strains are new.
    If Americans do not stop going along with the BS propaganda & allow thousands of workers in every state to get fired for not taking the mRNA jab then this country will head towards a civil war.
    Big Pharma has taken over the medical profession & now they want our businesses & our schools.

    • Steve,
      Im Guessing he sees it . Im Hoping Mr Medred is outside enjoying Alaska or similar wilderness adventures. Not swamped in the terrible daily news data . Never know when your maker calls you home .
      The question should be – how are we all going to fix this mess ?

      • DPR…The only journalist / blogger in AK that is writing about the real truths regarding this plandemic is Suzanne @ Must Read Alaska.
        We are moving at an accelerating rate towards a technocratic authoritarian form of communism in America & the non-compliance to vaccines is used as the tool by government.
        Nearly 100% of students at Harvard Business school are vaxxed yet the campus has been shuttered to in -person learning & students cannot meet w/ one another for longer than 15 mins?
        Over 95% of patients in Australian hospitals are fully vaxxed yet the country is in total lockdown & anyone seen outside without a mask is beaten & arrested by police?
        Thousands…potentially hundreds of thousands of Americans will loose their jobs by not injecting the mRNA therapy into their bodies YET we have a worker shortage in MOST industries?
        This is a systematic dismantling of our entire economy – over a flu like virus that has a survival rate of 99.8% for the ENTIRE population…this is not even a pandemic by medical standards at this point.
        Biden & the Dems have now slipped in a provision to their infrastructure bill that will allow OSHA to fine non-compliant companies up to $700, 000?
        This while there is still a moratorium on over 11 million renters who cannot pay their rent?
        I do not have the answer other than non-compliance & your money is your vote…do not support corporations that are firing worker due to vaccine mandates.
        Youtube is now censoring ALL videos discussing the dangers of the vaccine…guys like Robert Kennedy Jr are cut off starting today.

      • Steve ,
        You are 💯% right. I agree. Travesty. Not the democratic party as I understood them. They act like an unthinking animal backed into the corner who forgot they were working for every human. Humanity is out the window. Dictatorship has arrived. The question how to resolve correctly is here . Have we waited to long absorbed in our own self serving desires? . Polite Education is needed. More accurate reporting is needed. Where do we go from here? . Downing is in a luxury position. She doesn’t bother concerning herself with understanding both sides or reporting the full story. It’s apparently not important in her mind. Which is arguably true considering 20 other outlets report on the other side in a nasty biased misleading way of writing. The problem is if you fall into that action a person must ask themselves: have they just become part of the problem? I fear Craig is a rare bird and our society has become dominance based versus thought , kindness and rational based . Will they even listen to reason of will they only want to feed at the trough of confirmation bias? Its a sad debacle. If you have kids then raise them in the right way. Get involved where your competency can show. I don’t know the solution but people like Mr Medred are part of it .

      • Steve
        I think the angle we must take is that covid tyranny is just a symptom of a disease. Our nation can’t understand it as the enemy . because the government is “there to help” how do you get a majority on board against something thst protects them? Anti vaccine? Thats a tough hill to defend even if is an important hill .
        We must find the high ground that a majority can come together on .
        we must scientifically start helping to educate how dictatorship is a dead end street, long term.
        “”” a job is the best welfare” right? The scientific high ground.
        Also If you have friends who loose their ability to feed their families through violent action dictatorship/ illegal executive mandates please support them in any way possible. If you are a buisness owner then employ them. Find a way to fight this illegal action by Biden and his puppet masters .
        Our faulty education system and focus on almighty dollar has allowed a virus to grow in our culture. We are sick and we need kind treatment .

      • Steve, the protected need to be protected from the unprotected by forcing the unprotected to use protection that didn’t protect the protected.. Some crazy commie Democrat reasoning..

        Isreal has an 80+% vaccine status. 78% of those hospitalized are vaccinated..Hmmm.

    • What I see Steve is our government, particularly Democrats, firing our Frontline workers for not taking the experimental Spike Protein vax while denying them unemployment benefits. Yesterday’s heros, today’s pariah..
      All the while our government encourages millions of 3rd World illegals to invade our country (with a great number of them Covid positive), while depositing them throughout our country saying “they don’t need to be vaccinated..
      What I see is over 100k disease ridden Afghanies spread throughout the country while remaining unvaccinated.
      All compliments of the Cabal.

      • Since the government contributes to higher Covid numbers would you say they are concerned about Covid infections or about control?

    • I’m not sure Craig is big on conspiracy theories. None of his writing suggests that he is prone to believing in them, and I seem to recall him saying something along the lines of you don’t need conspiracy theories to explain them when simple incompetence does just fine…Occam’s razor and whatnot.

      • Steve-O, I don’t think the gov. welcoming, allowing, encouraging, and transporting hundreds of thousands or millions of diseased illegals is a conspiracy. All the while firing Healthcare workers during a pandemic while not requiring a vaccine for the illegals..go figure..

      • Brian, I agree. Biden is one messed up dude . Does that surprise anyone after reading about his criminal son ? Conspiracy? Steve o , ? What conspiracy? Biden wants better control of your bank account information, he wants control of your health decisions, he wants control of letting random people into our states , he wants control of how many Americans can fly out of Afghanistan. These are decisions that legally would be left to the states or citizens themselves. Now tell me how his desire for control is a conspiracy? Yes the people in his orbit agree with him or push him to take these routes . Calling them cabal fits because they want to do things that are outside the constitution and are against the happiness and liberty of Americans . Brian nailed it . Conspiracy? Dont call fact conspiracy! Go pound sand . Its all thrown in our faces . Our freinds neighbors and relations are loosing their just livelihood because a dictator is breaking the law of the land forcing buisness to require a foreign substance be jammed into our arms against our will . Hes putting millions of Americans at risk for mental and physical health issues. Have you never heard of “ consent of the governed”? He and his cabals incompetence and tyranny is no conspiracy. Its fact before our faces . They want control period. If they didn’t they would let us live our lives as we see fit under the law of the land.

      • Bryan/DPR,

        I’m glad you two are aware that this isn’t a conspiracy theory but politicians doing what politicians do by never letting a crisis go to waste. Now if you can convince others that covid is/was a global pandemic and their aren’t big bad boogeymen around every corner conspiring to create a man made disease to wipe out half or more of the earths population by way of a tracking device inside a vaccine that will slowly kill you, or whenever they turn on 5G (which has been on for a few years), that choosing to remain unvaccinated isn’t like being a Jew in the holocaust, that using feed store medicine isn’t a cure for a novel disease, and that maybe, just maybe pandemics have happened in the past and will happen in the future…well then I’d say we’ve made some progress here in our mutual understanding.

        Or we can just change the words like they did with anthropogenic global warming, err global warming, err climate change. So instead of calling it a conspiracy theory we can give it a name and call it a plandemic, or just Bill Gates and Fauci’s wild ride.

      • Steve-O, I am going to go out on a limb and say that the Covid power grab would seem that “politicians doing what politicians do” is a bit naive no? Hooe I don’t sound too conspirital.

      • Bryan,
        It’s part of the human condition and has been since we became humans, probably even before that. Dominating each other is hardwired into us as a species. Politicians, of all stripes, live to get power and subject others to that power. When politicians see an opening they take it, that’s what they do…all of them. Pretending that there is a great conspiracy theory that is causing this pandemic glosses over the fact that pandemics come and go, politicians come and go, authoritarians come and go, countries come and go. It’s fine to get caught up in the conspiracy theories and blame an unseen and unknown boogeyman, but pretending like this is something that it’s not, is still just pretending. Dealing with the reality of the situation is the only way to do anything about it in any meaningful way.

      • Steve o , ? Have you been paying attention that Fauci financed the development of covid through peter danzik ? That danzik and science cronies did best possible to cover the trail and mislead the world? Thst fauci lies to Congress unabated? That biden and cronies are using buisness entities to control your life as well as the information you consume? Censorship at beck and call ? Have you paid any attention to who biden soros ect are connected to and their desire: openly stated desires to remold society? Now I would like you to square your statement: (when politicians see an opening they take it . Thats what all of them do . ) now square that with George Washington who had to be begged to stay president. He had the popularity and standing to be president unto death and our laws at time allowed many terms. He did his best to decline. Square it with Benjamin Franklin the governor of Pennsylvania who cleary thought only of a better future for all of his fellow men. He came from a state that was slave free . Even square it with rand paul who appears to be honorable. Now shift and look at biden snd his connections . What you appear not to understand is that very little happens by accident. Someone plans and ramrods . Outcomes are created. This is a fact of nature and humanity. You are free to go on living your blissful life thinking we are not being manipulated but that doesn’t make it an accurate reality.

      • The Founding Fathers, were transformative historical figures the likes of which have rarely been seen throughout human history. They were not politicians but generals, leaders of men, authors of an entirely new way of life, farmers, tradesmen, writers, publishers, philosophers, in short they were statesmen and incomparable to the political class we have nowadays. To compare the likes of Joe Biden and Anthony Fauci to George Washington and Benjamin Franklin is absurd.

      • Steve o , I partly agree. Only remotely comparable to political class we have now . Problem is our founders fit the definition of politicians to a T . ( one who is actively involved in or skilled in politics- a member of government or law making organization. ) ( definition of politics- activity that relate to influenceing the actions of a government- the science or art of governing . ) also our current politicians are similar to politicians of old – some are/ were tradesmen, farmers ,soldiers ,writters , doctors lawyers ect . So saying two groups who have a similar technical or exactly same definition and similar craft base “cant be compared” and is absurd to do so should probably be what is considered ABSURD. Words have meanings. We are in weeds a bit . I agree. Most politicians now, suck .
        They forgot the warnings of our first politicians. Partisanship and foreign entanglements. It could be said they have devolved into infighting so far as to forget we are one nation and the goal should be to work together to further liberty and happiness for our citizens. I would argue that the uber rich or long term powerful are pitting one party against another to divide and conquer creating chaos and rapid change to benefit their own selves. Chaos and division/ the fog of war . Could be wrong but the people financing the parties and Da’s ect ect are not making an effort to create consensus or rational discussion to make life better. Its all about the other bad guy. Conservative- liberals- yada yada . I just don’t believe individual humans are that bad . I think they are being manipulated. As are we .

      • DPR,
        It warms the cockles of my heart to hear you say that “words have meanings”. I’ve been saying that for a long, long time and I thought I lost you there for a bit. However, the majority of the Founding Fathers would not meet the definition of being a politician based simply upon the fact that they actually had lives and other more pressing needs outside of the politics they found necessary to continue to pursue those needs. We often forget in our current state of circumstances, just what was required to survive in times gone by. Politicking wasn’t always a full time job or one that was lifelong, feeding your family, keeping a roof over their head, simple day to day survival took more effort that they do today. Today we have so much leisure time that we can dream up all kinds of conspiracy theories to entertain ourselves and explain away anything we want.

        Part of the current problem is that the US Congress is made up of around 45% lawyers or former lawyers, this wasn’t the case during the founding of our country.

      • Steve o , 25 of 56 Declaration of Independence signatories we’re lawyers( or very roughly) .several of the founders were lawyers and or went to prestigious universities studying law ect . Jefferson was a lawyer, Madison studied law , if memory serves there were others. I think you are grasping at straws and splitting hairs. Why? You think others are creating conspiracy theories when the facts back the concept that is presented. Lets drop it for now as you have pushed us far into the weeds .

      • No worries DPR, I was just following your breadcrumbs. I understand why you don’t want to continue exploring down that path any longer.

    • The World Economic Forum’s 2030 agenda includes the strangely ominous dictum that you will “own nothing and be happy.” The unstated implication is that the world’s resources will be owned and controlled by the technocratic elite, and you’ll have to pay for the temporary use of absolutely everything.

      Nothing will actually belong to you. All items and resources are to be used by the collective, while actual ownership is restricted to an upper stratum of social class. Just how will this imposed serfdom make you happy?

  5. For all the health issues the street people have, I’m amazed to see “the regulars” still standing. I drive by these Urban Subsistence individuals, holding their cardboard signs, on a daily basis. While staying in the Sullivan Arena may have cut down on “winter kill”, the fact remains their survival has to do more with their ability to overcome, rather that society’s “help”. Hanging out in groups and passing a bottle around would seem to be a sure fire way to spread COVID, yet I recognize several from pre COVID times. Reminds me of the old farmers back where I was raised. Many lived into the late 80s and 90s. Two brothers, Axel and Gunnar lived to be over 100. Tough lives are sometimes rewarded(or was it their genes??).

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