The article you just read was brought to you by a few thousand dedicated readers. Will you join them?

Thanks for coming by The Tyee and reading one of many original articles we’ll post today. Our team works hard to publish in-depth stories on topics that matter on a daily basis. Our motto is: No junk. Just good journalism.

Just as we care about the quality of our reporting, we care about making our stories accessible to all who want to read them and provide a pleasant reading experience. No intrusive ads to distract you. No paywall locking you out of an article you want to read. No clickbait to trick you into reading a sensational article.

There’s a reason why our site is unique and why we don’t have to rely on those tactics — our Tyee Builders program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip in a bit of money each month (or one-time) to our editorial budget. This amazing program allows us to pay our writers fairly, keep our focus on quality over quantity of articles, and provide a pleasant reading experience for those who visit our site.

In the past year, we’ve been able to double our staff team and boost our reporting. We invest all of the revenue we receive into producing more and better journalism. We want to keep growing, but we need your support to do it.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
Canada needs more independent media. And independent media needs you.

Did you know that most news organizations in Canada are owned by just a handful of companies? And that these companies have been shutting down newsrooms and laying off reporters continually over the past few decades?

Fact-based, credible journalism is essential to our democracy. Unlike many other newsrooms across the country, The Tyee’s independent newsroom is stable and growing.

How are we able to do this? The Tyee Builder program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip into our editorial budget so that we can keep doing what we do best: fact-based, in-depth reporting on issues that matter to our readers. No paywall. No junk. Just good journalism.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to be Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
We're reader supported.
Get our newsletter free.
Help pay for our reporting.
News
  |  
Coronavirus
  |  
Science + Tech

Income Inequality Linked to COVID-19 Deaths. And More Science News

The latest roundup of pandemic findings gathered by Hakai Magazine.

Brian Owens 7 Jul 2020 | Hakai Magazine

Brian Owens is a freelance science writer and editor based in St. Stephen, New Brunswick. His work has appeared in Hakai Magazine, Nature, New Scientist, the Canadian Medical Association Journal, The Lancet and others.

Compiled by veteran medical journalist Brian Owens, this roundup of some of the newest science on the COVID-19 pandemic, straight from the scientific journals, is presented by Hakai Magazine in partnership with The Tyee.

Income inequality linked to COVID-19 deaths

U.S. states with the highest levels of income inequality have had higher numbers of COVID-19 deaths than those with lower income inequality. New York, the nation’s most unequal state, had a mortality rate of 51.7 per 100,000 people. That is 125 times greater than Utah, which has had the lowest levels of deaths, at 0.41 per 100,000. Other states with high inequality and death rates were Louisiana and Connecticut, while North and South Dakota had low death rates and low inequality. The more unequal states are also the ones that tend to be the most racially diverse.

Journal of General Internal Medicine, June 24, 2020

Child abuse surges during pandemic

There has been a massive surge in domestic child abuse during the pandemic, according to a study at one specialist children’s hospital in the United Kingdom. In just one month — beginning March 23, when lockdown started — the number of new cases of head injury in very young children caused by physical abuse rose by 1,493 per cent compared with the same period in the previous three years. The figures are likely to be an underestimate, the researchers warn, as parents avoid visiting the hospital over fears of the virus, and children have less contact with other people who can raise the alarm.

Archives of Disease in Childhood, July 2, 2020

More infectious strain of SARS-CoV-2 dominates global infections, but it’s not necessarily more dangerous

A new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has become the dominant strain of the virus around the world. A mutation that made a small change to the spike protein that the virus uses to enter cells has allowed it to infect cells more easily and replicate faster. But infectiousness is not the same as how contagious the disease is. Whether this version of the virus can move between people more easily, or whether it can cause more severe disease, remains unclear.

Cell, July 2, 2020

Older people not reacting to pandemic as expected

Despite their increased risk of severe illness and death, a survey of more than 70,000 people in 27 countries shows that elderly people are not more willing to isolate when asked, and are not more compliant with some preventative measures such as hand washing or mask wearing. Older people are, however, more likely to avoid public transportation and to avoid small gatherings or having guests over.

PLOS One, July 2, 2020

HakaiTyeePartnershipLogo.jpg

Lack of lockdown increased deaths in Sweden

The controversial decision in Sweden not to go into lockdown led to more deaths and greater health-care demand than in countries with earlier, stricter controls. As of May 15, Sweden’s death rate was 35 per 100,000, while Denmark’s was 9.3, Finland’s 5.2 and Norway’s 4.7. All three neighbouring countries enacted stricter policies. Even the U.S., with its largely ineffective response, had fewer deaths at 24 per 100,000 as of May 15. But Sweden still did better than some hard-hit countries, like the United Kingdom and Spain, and was roughly on par with France and Italy.

Clinical Infectious Diseases, July 1, 2020

Antibody tests miss up to one-third of infections

A review of dozens of studies on antibody tests for COVID-19 has found that they range in accuracy from 66 per cent to 97 per cent for correctly detecting whether someone has previously been infected. This means that as many as one-third of those tested would receive a false negative result, telling them they had not had the disease when they really had. The researchers also found that up to three per cent would get a false positive, which would lead them to falsely believe they were immune. Commercial tests and those performed outside a laboratory were particularly unreliable. This includes the lateral flow immunoassay test that is being considered for “immunity passports” in some countries.

BMJ, July 1, 2020

Testing throat swabs may reduce false negatives from nasal swabs

Testing mucus and saliva collected from the back of the throat may help reduce the number of false negative results from nasal swab testing of patients who have seemingly recovered from COVID-19. Researchers in China found that a small number of patients who had tested negative with nasal swabs and were about to be discharged from hospital were still infected with the virus when tested with throat swabs. Pairing the two tests may be a more effective way of determining when someone has recovered from the disease.

Journal of Dental Research, July 2, 2020  [Tyee]

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free.

Tyee Commenting Guidelines

Do not:

  •  Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully, threaten, name-call or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, downvote, or flag suspect activity
  • Attempt to guess other commenters’ real-life identities

Do:

  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls and flag violations
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Stay on topic
  • Connect with each other

The Barometer

Do You Think the Injunction at Fairy Creek Will Be Reinstated?

Take this week's poll