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1.
J Extreme Events ; 8(2)2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1816792

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic changed many social, economic, environmental, and healthcare determinants of health in New York City (NYC) and worldwide. COVID-19 potentially heightened the risk of heat-related health impacts in NYC, particularly on the most vulnerable communities, who often lack equitable access to adequate cooling mechanisms such as air conditioning (AC) and good quality green space. Here, we review some of the policies and tools which have been developed to reduce vulnerability to heat in NYC. We then present results from an online pilot survey of members of the environmental justice organization WE ACT for Environmental Justice (WE ACT) between July 11 and August 8, 2020, which asked questions to evaluate how those in Northern Manhattan coped with elevated summer heat in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also make some policy recommendations based on our initial findings. Results of our pilot survey suggest that people stayed indoors more due to COVID-19 and relied more on AC units to stay cool. Survey responses also indicated that some avoided visiting green spaces due to concerns around overcrowding and did not regularly frequent them due to the distance from their homes. The responses also demonstrate a potential racial disparity in AC access; AC ownership and access was highest amongst white and lowest amongst Latino/a/x and Black respondents. The impacts of COVID-19 have highlighted the need to accelerate efforts to improve preparedness for extreme heat like the City of New York's AC and cooling center programs, heat ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) retrofitting, equitable green space expansion, and stronger environmental justice community networks and feedback mechanisms to hear from affected residents. Conducting a survey of this kind annually may provide an additional effective component of evaluating cooling initiatives in NYC.

2.
Wellcome Open Res ; 6: 279, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732490

ABSTRACT

Background: Industrialised countries had varied responses to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and how they adapted to new situations and knowledge since it began. These differences in preparedness and policy may lead to different death tolls from COVID-19 as well as other diseases. Methods: We applied an ensemble of 16 Bayesian probabilistic models to vital statistics data to estimate the impacts of the pandemic on weekly all-cause mortality for 40 industrialised countries from mid-February 2020 through mid-February 2021, before a large segment of the population was vaccinated in these countries. Results: Over the entire year, an estimated 1,410,300 (95% credible interval 1,267,600-1,579,200) more people died in these countries than would have been expected had the pandemic not happened. This is equivalent to 141 (127-158) additional deaths per 100,000 people and a 15% (14-17) increase in deaths in all these countries combined. In Iceland, Australia and New Zealand, mortality was lower than would be expected if the pandemic had not occurred, while South Korea and Norway experienced no detectable change in mortality. In contrast, the USA, Czechia, Slovakia and Poland experienced at least 20% higher mortality. There was substantial heterogeneity across countries in the dynamics of excess mortality. The first wave of the pandemic, from mid-February to the end of May 2020, accounted for over half of excess deaths in Scotland, Spain, England and Wales, Canada, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands and Cyprus. At the other extreme, the period between mid-September 2020 and mid-February 2021 accounted for over 90% of excess deaths in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Latvia, Montenegro, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. Conclusions: Until the great majority of national and global populations have vaccine-acquired immunity, minimising the death toll of the pandemic from COVID-19 and other diseases will require actions to delay and contain infections and continue routine health care.

3.
Wellcome open research ; 6:279, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1732489

ABSTRACT

Background: Industrialised countries had varied responses to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and how they adapted to new situations and knowledge since it began. These differences in preparedness and policy may lead to different death tolls from COVID-19 as well as other diseases. Methods: We applied an ensemble of 16 Bayesian probabilistic models to vital statistics data to estimate the impacts of the pandemic on weekly all-cause mortality for 40 industrialised countries from mid-February 2020 through mid-February 2021, before a large segment of the population was vaccinated in these countries. Results: Over the entire year, an estimated 1,410,300 (95% credible interval 1,267,600-1,579,200) more people died in these countries than would have been expected had the pandemic not happened. This is equivalent to 141 (127-158) additional deaths per 100,000 people and a 15% (14-17) increase in deaths in all these countries combined. In Iceland, Australia and New Zealand, mortality was lower than would be expected if the pandemic had not occurred, while South Korea and Norway experienced no detectable change in mortality. In contrast, the USA, Czechia, Slovakia and Poland experienced at least 20% higher mortality. There was substantial heterogeneity across countries in the dynamics of excess mortality. The first wave of the pandemic, from mid-February to the end of May 2020, accounted for over half of excess deaths in Scotland, Spain, England and Wales, Canada, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands and Cyprus. At the other extreme, the period between mid-September 2020 and mid-February 2021 accounted for over 90% of excess deaths in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Latvia, Montenegro, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. Conclusions: Until the great majority of national and global populations have vaccine-acquired immunity, minimising the death toll of the pandemic from COVID-19 and other diseases will require actions to delay and contain infections and continue routine health care.

4.
Wellcome open research ; 6, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1728267

ABSTRACT

Background: Industrialised countries had varied responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, which may lead to different death tolls from COVID-19 and other diseases. Methods: We applied an ensemble of 16 Bayesian probabilistic models to vital statistics data to estimate the number of weekly deaths if the pandemic had not occurred for 40 industrialised countries and US states from mid-February 2020 through mid-February 2021. We subtracted these estimates from the actual number of deaths to calculate the impacts of the pandemic on all-cause mortality. Results: Over this year, there were 1,410,300 (95% credible interval 1,267,600-1,579,200) excess deaths in these countries, equivalent to a 15% (14-17) increase, and 141 (127-158) additional deaths per 100,000 people. In Iceland, Australia and New Zealand, mortality was lower than would be expected in the absence of the pandemic, while South Korea and Norway experienced no detectable change. The USA, Czechia, Slovakia and Poland experienced >20% higher mortality. Within the USA, Hawaii experienced no detectable change in mortality and Maine a 5% increase, contrasting with New Jersey, Arizona, Mississippi, Texas, California, Louisiana and New York which experienced >25% higher mortality. Mid-February to the end of May 2020 accounted for over half of excess deaths in Scotland, Spain, England and Wales, Canada, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands and Cyprus, whereas mid-September 2020 to mid-February 2021 accounted for >90% of excess deaths in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Latvia, Montenegro, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. In USA, excess deaths in the northeast were driven mainly by the first wave, in southern and southwestern states by the summer wave, and in the northern plains by the post-September period. Conclusions: Prior to widespread vaccine-acquired immunity, minimising the overall death toll of the pandemic requires policies and non-pharmaceutical interventions that delay and reduce infections, effective treatments for infected patients, and mechanisms to continue routine health care.

6.
Nat Med ; 26(12): 1919-1928, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-872715

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has changed many social, economic, environmental and healthcare determinants of health. We applied an ensemble of 16 Bayesian models to vital statistics data to estimate the all-cause mortality effect of the pandemic for 21 industrialized countries. From mid-February through May 2020, 206,000 (95% credible interval, 178,100-231,000) more people died in these countries than would have had the pandemic not occurred. The number of excess deaths, excess deaths per 100,000 people and relative increase in deaths were similar between men and women in most countries. England and Wales and Spain experienced the largest effect: ~100 excess deaths per 100,000 people, equivalent to a 37% (30-44%) relative increase in England and Wales and 38% (31-45%) in Spain. Bulgaria, New Zealand, Slovakia, Australia, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Norway, Denmark and Finland experienced mortality changes that ranged from possible small declines to increases of 5% or less in either sex. The heterogeneous mortality effects of the COVID-19 pandemic reflect differences in how well countries have managed the pandemic and the resilience and preparedness of the health and social care system.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Demography , Developed Countries/statistics & numerical data , Mortality , Pandemics , Population Dynamics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cause of Death/trends , Female , Geography , Humans , Industrial Development/statistics & numerical data , Male , Mortality/trends , Population Density , Population Dynamics/statistics & numerical data , Population Dynamics/trends , Public Policy , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Time Factors
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