France - Covid

France's wealthy twice as likely to contract Covid compared to poor

The wealthiest in France contract coronavirus more than the poorest, possibly due in part to the fact that they have second homes and move around more than the les well-off.
The wealthiest in France contract coronavirus more than the poorest, possibly due in part to the fact that they have second homes and move around more than the les well-off. © Iroz Gaizka/AFP

A study of the spread of Covid in France has found that the richest contract the virus more frequently than the poorest. Even if the pandemic has not hit the wealthy financially as badly as those less fortunate, the rich have been infected at higher rates than others. 

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The conclusion comes from EpiCoV, a survey put in place by France’s public research and statistics institutes to look at the spread of Covid in France. The authors sent out questionnaires to 135,000 people representing all levels of French society. Then 12,400 were randomly selected to take a Covid serology test.

A study of the respondents, which has not yet been published, but was reported in the Parisien newspaper, found the richest ten per cent of French people are twice as likely to contract Covid than the poorest ten per cent.

The conclusion is that rich people have more wide-ranging connections than those at the lower end of the income scale, and they have the means to maintain their social lives, despite lockdowns. This increases their risk of infection.

A previous study showed a higher percentage of upper socio-economic groups live in cities, which have higher infection rates than elsewhere because of population density.

And because the rich have larger houses or apartments, and many have second homes, they have been able to continue hosting friends at home, despite recommendations to limit social interactions, especially shared meals, which have been shown to spread the virus.

Even working from home has not protected the wealthiest, as many can afford outside childcare, which could also explain increased infection rates. 

 

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