Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


IAS Talk Pieces: Life in the Time of Coronavirus. #1 Underlying Conditions

by Megan Vaughan (UCL)

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9 April 2020

'We’ve all become used to hearing this phrase "underlying conditions" in the context of COVID-19. Our unfortunate newsreaders have to keep repeating it in the daily litany of statistics and particularly the grim daily toll of COVID-19 deaths. We are told that in the vast majority of cases where an individual does badly with this infection that they suffered from one or more underlying condition (by which is usually meant, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, asthma…. What are often and misleadingly called “non-communicable diseases”). And when we’re told that they didn’t have any of these, there is, I think, an extra palpable sense of shock and horror...'

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  • Music: Best of Feelings and the BBC Sound Archive
  • Producers and Editors: Albert Brenchat-Aguilar and Catherine Stokes
  • Communications: Patricia Mascarell Llombart
  • Executive Producer: Tamar Garb