Excess deaths in the time of Covid reflect the British state’s indifference to how society really works
This report builds on a blog by NPI Director Peter Kenway produced 8th May 2020 that addressed two misunderstandings on the Covid crisis in the UK: The first is that excess deaths in the time of Covid are largely restricted to deaths where Covid is mentioned. The second is that coping with the Covid crisis is mainly about hospitals coping.
While attention has been directed towards the NHS in general and hospitals in particular, a disaster has been unfolding elsewhere. That “elsewhere” is not just the care homes, but homes too: in short, across society at large. Among the many questions about how this disaster happened is why such a narrow view took hold of where the threat lay. A sense of the pattern of deaths in normal times could have focused attention on the community settings in which people die and the threat they might face.
The crisis in care homes is now attracting attention. The same attention needs to be extended to home too, to those dying there and those caring for them; to their need for protective personal equipment; to the conditions in which they are coping, often overcrowded and where self-isolation may not be practically possible.
About this report
This report was written by Peter Kenway and Josh Holden of the New Policy Institute.