At the time of writing, there are in excess of 422 000 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, and close to 19 000 deaths.
In South Africa, we have 709 confirmed cases, with Minister of Health Dr. Zweli Mkhize announcing the new numbers this morning.
You can keep tabs on the up-to-date stats using the Johns Hopkins map.
We can draw a little hope from the fact that there are significantly more recoveries than deaths.
We know that the people who are most vulnerable to the virus are the elderly and the immune-compromised. What we didn’t take into account is that more men are dying than women.
Here’s what CNN had to say about the gender disparity:
In countries such as Italy, men represent nearly 60% of people who tested positive for the virus and more than 70% of those who have died, according to the country’s National Health Institute (ISS).
Even in countries like South Korea, where the proportion of women who have tested positive for the virus is higher than that of men, about 54% of the reported deaths are among men.
CNN teamed up with Global Health 50/50, a research institute examining gender inequality in global health, to unpack data from countries with high rates of confirmed coronavirus cases.
The following graph outlines their findings:
While it isn’t clear whether men are more likely to contract the virus, they are more likely to die from it, according to the data.
Across the countries for which we have data – spanning nearly a quarter of the world’s population – we found that men were 50% more likely than women to die after being diagnosed with Covid-19.
While necessarily partial and incomplete, the results highlight what public health experts have been warning for some time, theorizing that it is not only biology but also gendered behaviors — the different ways in which men and women conduct their lives — which may play a significant role in the different mortality rate for respiratory diseases.
Men, and especially single men, are more likely to lead unhealthy lifestyles. In America, for example, nearly five times more men than women smoke, and men drink almost five times as much alcohol than women.
Smokers tend to be the hardest hit, so it might be time to cut back on that habit.
It’s also not too late to start eating more veggies, and incorporating some essential vitamins and nutrients into your diet.
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