There’s a highly objectionable yet possible true answer to this

Last week, the Office for National Statistics confirmed what many had suspected since the start of this pandemic – black, Asian and minority ethnic people are far more likely to get and die from coronavirus. But it is the scale of difference that is so worrying. Black people are more than four times more likely to die from Covid-19 than white people. Even after taking into account age, underlying health and income factors, they are still almost twice as likely as white people to die from the virus.

The government has promised that a review by Public Health England into how ethnicity affects vulnerability to coronavirus will be published by the end of May. It can’t come soon enough: among frontline NHS and social care workers, the difference is all too stark: despite accounting for just 20% of the workforce, 94% of doctors and 71% of nurses who have died from Covid-19 were black, Asian and minority ethnic. It has prompted NHS England to recommend risk assessments for BAME frontline staff to reduce their exposure to the virus.

If that Vitamin D hypothesis is true one very objectionable manner of pointing it out is that people with darker skins aren’t well adapted to living at higher latitudes. So, perhaps for their own health, they shouldn’t?

Or, to be less objectionable, perhaps that melanin enhancement should be considered – despite that connection with race and all that political malarkey – in the health advice proffered to those who decide, on balance, that life is better here than in the tropics. A point about which they’re entirely correct of course.

For there is a reason that paler skin developed. Not because evolution directs or anything but because among those who moved to higher latitudes the darker skinned kiddies died earlier, had fewer children, than the lighter skinned.

58 thoughts on “There’s a highly objectionable yet possible true answer to this”

  1. Income factors? What, if you can’t afford it you can’t have it?

    The four times ratio is seen elsewhere, NYC and Chicago.

  2. BAME doesn’t tell you much. Some are ebony, some are not much darker than an European with a tan.

  3. We will all have trouble living in the ruined mess Blojo will leave behind him.

    And 4x a very small chance is still a very small chance.

  4. Why would it be “very objectionable” to point out that people with darker skins aren’t well adapted to living at higher latitudes and that perhaps for their own health they shouldn’t?

  5. There’s something to it too that blacks in the US are more likely to be obese and have diabetes and all kinds of ailments compared to their honky counterparts.

  6. What ethic population percentage are they basing this on (national vs regional/urban are very different figures) and did it account for where they live.

  7. “We will all have trouble living in the ruined mess Blojo will leave behind him.”

    Cheer up, Ecksy. It won’t be as bad as you fear. The economic lockdown will speed up creative destruction and the economy will rapidly revive. Consumers are paying off debt – £3.8bn in April. Pent-up demand is growing.

    My wife usually spends £300pcm on hairdressing and beauty treatments, and she’s already booked numerous appointments for later this year. She wants one of our bathrooms refurbished in the autumn and a new kitchen next year; and she is not alone among her friends and family. People will need new clothing and footwear…and so on.

  8. Why not just take vitamin D? After all I get sunburnt in the tropics, I just wear lotion (more of a pain than vitamin tablets).

  9. “but because among those who moved to higher latitudes the darker skinned kiddies died earlier, had fewer children, than the lighter skinned.”

    That assumes that the human race developed initially in Africa, which makes sense in a way because we have a fossil record. Of course the last glaciation destroyed any such fossil record in more northerly latitudes, and we are left with observations that whitey goes brown when exposed to sun, but darkie hardly whitens at all when kept covered. Also, why do Afros have pink hands? Also, what has kept the IQ of Afros down and let it increase in whiteys?

    The answer might be that as light skinned people moved into Africa their skin darkened, and the kiddies that didn’t died faster than the ones that did.

    It actually works both ways.

  10. Also the enriching culture (PBUH) that requires women to wear tents when out in public. Is there any info on the general health of them vs the rest of us – both in the UK and also in their sunnier countries of origin? Not COVID but eg rickets?

  11. There are indeed warnings about rickets out there. And they are connected to wearing tents, not getting sunshine and all that. But it is done very sotto voce. Because waassist and all that and if there were a simple medical explanation then how could we all shout about institutional racism and inequality?

  12. We shall see Theo.

    But I am afraid you are a fantasist. Years of supporting a Party whose hierarchy hate you and are working to piss on everything you support and believe in seems to have equipped you with a case of metastasized imaginationoptimisticus.

  13. They’ve done some of the adjustments for known factors but they cannot accurately adjust for overweight/obesity – firstly because people don’t go round weighing and measuring corpses and secondly because the BMI scale is utter nonsense.

  14. Maritime Barbarian

    There are numerous confounding factors to allow for, and as many speculations about reasons for the higher impact on BAME persons.
    But one graph caught my eye (sorry, no link). It showed no disparity in impact on mixed-race people. A white gene involved, perhaps?
    Another comment: smokers get COVID less frequently, it seems. But nobody has pointed out that smokers likely to suffer respiratory diseases may simply be dead already.

  15. ‘how ethnicity affects vulnerability to coronavirus’

    CV-19 is a contact disease. Avoid contact, avoid the disease.

    Sorry, that is too complex for some people.

  16. “Another comment: smokers get COVID less frequently, it seems. But nobody has pointed out that smokers likely to suffer respiratory diseases may simply be dead already.”
    On a related note – in countries where “the vulnerable” are most likely already dead, Covid-19 isn’t going to make much of an impact.

  17. Just did a search online for Vitamin D. The market seems dominated by supply for the wealthy white hippy market, prices are absurd.

  18. “Even after taking into account age, underlying health and income factors”

    No mention of taking account of local population density? The cities are getting the brunt of this, and I think it’s true that black people in particular are more concentrated in cities.

  19. Rob said:
    “Just did a search online for Vitamin D. The market seems dominated by supply for the wealthy white hippy market”

    Is that because of vegans? Is D one of the things they struggle to get in their “normal” diet?

  20. The apparent higher death rate. Do we know if that is due to a higher chance of catching it, or due to a higher CFR once got it? If the former, it might be that cultural issues are also in play? If it’s the latter, that’s a different ball game?

  21. Supermarket multivitamin & mineral tablets cost about 4p per day and supply at least 100% of the NRV for vitamin D. Why buy vitamin D tablets when you can get lots of essential nutrients in one tablet?

  22. Rob said:
    “Just did a search online for Vitamin D. The market seems dominated by supply for the wealthy white hippy market”

    If you want the basic amount recommended by the NHS/PHE then Boots sell 90 tablets for £2.30. That’s 3 months worth. And if you buy 3 pots you get them for the price of two. But surprisingly they seem to be out of stock. I got 3 pots, on medical advice, before this virus appeared and am not half way through them.

  23. That article is shite.

    On ‘BAME’ medical staff before the NHS:

    ““As far as I am aware, none left any testimonies, so we do not know their point of view. They would have confronted some racist attitudes, but they would also have been loved and respected by their contemporaries in the medical profession, and their patients.””

    Translation: ” We don’t really know if there were any working here. White people bad. Non-white people are better than white people.”

    and this gem:

    “The NHS owes a great debt to migrant nurses the world over who answered the call to tend a welfare state in its infancy,” says Kinnair. ‘We mustn’t forget the nurses from Africa, India and the Caribbean who lit the path.

    Translation: ” White people bad. Black and brown people good – worship them.”

  24. When research on the benefits of vit D on the immune system came out in the 00s I quizzed my darker hued colleagues as to whether they were supplementing. All of them said no and as NICE(that cosy partnership between Pharma and the NHS) had not recommended it, ignored my advice to go and buy themselves some D3(that’s the active form, absorbable if taken with fat/oil).

  25. Something else possibly in the mix. Are white people, desirous of a tan, sunbathing more than those who already have one?

  26. Richard T,

    Vegans will be blithely unaware that Vitamin D is manufactured by UV blasting oily skin cells from sheep in a big vat and a seriously powerful UV light tube. The Vitamin D rich sludge is then refined into the pills we eat. We can’t synthesise vitamin D chemically (at least not economically). All Vitamin D pills are non-vegan. They keep quiet about this because most vegans would soil themselves if they realised there is no animal product free source of vitamin D. I, however, enjoy pointing this out at every possible opportunity! 🙂

  27. Could be all sorts of things but I am a bit dubious about the Vitamin D – I know a black guy who mistakenly put too much sun cream on and caused himself to collapse but the experience was unusual to say the least. Anyway last I heard paler skins developed quite late due to dietary changes even in Europe.
    (Mind you if you look at some Finns they look exactly like translucent/ white Asians ,even got the slitty eyes …so that seems to argue no sun ..need white skin)
    My guess is its Asian men who are all fat and out of shape with heart conditions due to the interaction with a Western diet.

  28. My ex-wife grew up in Southern China and Hong Kong. Within a couple of years of moving to the UK she was a white as a sheet, paler than centuries-old-stock British me.

  29. Another issue could be that – according to all the TV I’ve seen – the BAME NHS staff wear their tents at work! How on earth can that be hygenic, sucking all sorts of muck out of the air and draping it over patients, as bad as the surgical consultants dipping their ties into people’s wounds.

  30. Ecksy

    “But I am afraid you are a fantasist.”

    That’s rich coming from you.

    Years of supporting a Party whose hierarchy hate you and are working to piss on everything you support and believe in seems to have equipped you with a case of metastasized imaginationoptimisticus.

  31. Ecksy

    “Years of supporting a Party whose hierarchy hate you and are working to piss on everything you support and believe in seems to have equipped you with a case of metastasized imaginationoptimisticus.”

    To repeat myself: My support for the Tory party is wholly provisional. When there is another viable right-wing party, I will vote for it. Meanwhile, the Tory party remains the only bulwark we have against extreme socialism (ponder the demographics if you doubt me).

    Your position, however, is the mirror image of the revolutionary socialists who imagine that destroying the Labour Party will usher in the socialist utopia. As you gaze out of a window in your psychiatric ward, you imagine that the destruction of the Tory party would somehow result in the minimal state of your dreams.

    As for lockdown, I think it has been overdone. But what would you have done faced with advice from the public health wallahs scared shitless by Ferguson?

    As for the economy:
    1. don’t forget all those public sector employees (5.4m?) who are not furloughed, but who are unable to spend while doing little or nothing remotely.
    2. that the banks are (apparently) healthy

  32. If you want the basic amount recommended by the NHS/PHE then Boots sell 90 tablets for £2.30. That’s 3 months worth. And if you buy 3 pots you get them for the price of two

    So now the NHS can step in, offering one smaller jar of 30 tablets on prescription. About a third of the amount for three times as much.

  33. Looking at state health dept data this AM, 91.5% of Covid tests in SC are negative.

    They are doing a crappy job of selecting whom to test.

  34. “To repeat myself: My support for the Tory party is wholly provisional.”

    Paying their fucking bills for years on end isn’t provisional. If you were a Hitlerite you’d still have been throwing yr dues over the Fuehrer bunker wall the day before Adolf shot hisself.

    “When there is another viable right-wing party, I will vote for it.”

    Unless its UKIP, For Britain or anyone else not Tory.

    “Meanwhile, the Tory party remains the only bulwark we have against extreme socialism (ponder the demographics if you doubt me).”

    If a “BULWARK” can be made of blue jelly then bulwark they are. Any more of a Bulwark and ZaNu would give them honourable membership cards.

    “Your position, however, is the mirror image of the revolutionary socialists who imagine that destroying the Labour Party will usher in the socialist utopia.”

    There will NEVER be a true right Party as long as the Tories are there oozing their loser-shite. Blojo is a case in point. Makes ONE good choice re Brexit–luck drops it all on his plate and he starts fucking it up from Day one. Huawei/HS2/greenfreakery were the start. But they were nothing. A bit of bad luck is compounded by Bloj into a massive own-goal disaster that staggers the mind.

    But pent -up demand will save us.

    “As you gaze out of a window in your psychiatric ward, you imagine that the destruction of the Tory party would somehow result in the minimal state of your dreams.”

    The continued existence of the Tory Party–supported by you–will certainly ensure that it won’t.

    “As for lockdown, I think it has been overdone. But what would you have done faced with advice from the public health wallahs scared shitless by Ferguson?”

    1- Been aware that the SCS are my enemies. Been ready with the already existing CCP warmed up. Poss made an example of a couple of them–sacked sans compo and pension poss arrests for misconduct. (Many of them will be compromised and open to arrest.) Depends on how intimidated I can make them without getting too heavy. Leave the fucks in NO doubt that any leaks will get them minimum of 10 years inside under OSA.
    2-Checked out Prof Pantsdown and his Bill Gates connection . Sacked the fuck. Masks etc for the vulnerable and request soc distance from people. Extra to NHS –much as I hate the bastards. NO LOCKDOWN.

    Lots more but no time.

    “As for the economy:
    1. don’t forget all those public sector employees (5.4m?) who are not furloughed, but who are unable to spend while doing little or nothing remotely.”

    Already on funny money and prob most are not only doing nothing but are making things worse. There will be no surviving by selling Apples on street corners in this new Depression cos the bureaucracy won’t allow it.

    ” 2. that the banks are (apparently) healthy”
    Bottler Brown–as opposed to Bottler Johnson.–choked the banks with funny money 2008. They kept it in reserve –so no hyper-inflation–to improve their reserves.

    Still funny money and not one jot more goods and services in the world as a result. If they deploy their reserves I don’t see that helping any more than Funny Money Sunaknackered open wallet is helping.

  35. According to the articles 34% of people in intensive care (a survey not a count) were BAME, which sneakily avoid the death/recovery, though for total hospitalisations BAME accounted for 16%. Deaths were quoted as 16.2% up to 17 April were BAME.

    The BAME population of London according to Wikipedia is 32% and the U.K. wide figure from 2011 used by the BBC is 14%. London accounts for 22% of Covid deaths, and has 15% of the population.

    So the question is whether the higher rate in London is down to more BAME or whether higher population density is a factor. It looks like the twice as likely to die people are making the first assumption when more logically it’s the population density is the issue, switching correlation and causation maybe.

  36. Gamecock: “Looking at state health dept data this AM, 91.5% of Covid tests in SC are negative. They are doing a crappy job of selecting whom to test.”

    In BC they only tested people with symptoms or those in same household and have similar negative rates (actually closer to 95%). Maybe the issue isn’t who is tested, but that some of the assumptions about Covid are faulty, until we can test who has had it testing is going to only offer limited information.

  37. “The apparent higher death rate. Do we know if that is due to a higher chance of catching it, or due to a higher CFR once got it? If the former, it might be that cultural issues are also in play? If it’s the latter, that’s a different ball game?”

    One of the things that is becoming clear as more cases get processed, is that one of the prime complications, and a large cause of the CoVid fatalities, is (micro)thrombosis.
    Something in the virus (and not one of the main proteïns) does a number on blood homeostasis causing excessive clotting. In a percentage of cases. And may or may not be connected to the excessive cytokine reactions some people have.

    There’s a serious amount of work being done to figure this out, but there seems to be a clear cross-section where blood type/chemistry ( and not ABO, the fancier stuff) , immune response, and virus life cycle seems to become a rather messy, if not lethal combination.

    Now, there are some differences in blood chemistry in the “fancy bits” , as well as immune response between “races”. Or rather large geographical areas where peeps didn’t really mix until about a century ago.
    It may well be that there is indeed a “dangerous combo” that makes people of a certain ethnic background more susceptible to the complications of a CoVid infection.
    There’s simply currently not enough scientific evidence to prove or disprove this. Hints are, after all, not enough. Which is why this is looked into rather seriously.
    If it is one of the bullets needed to squash or treat this thing, it’ll be hard to miss.. It’d be one of the missing pieces we need, and as such widely published.
    But until then anyone making definite statements about any race/susceptibility/morbidity link is , quite frankly, talking out of his/her arse, or pushing an agenda.

  38. “Unless its UKIP, For Britain or anyone else not Tory.”

    I voted for UKIP in the Euro-elections. But, as a single issue party without its charismatic leader, UKIP soon reverted to being a rabble – with five leaders in short order after Farage resigned.

    Btw, I’m not really a Tory – more a Reactionary Whig.

    “There will NEVER be a true right Party as long as the Tories are there oozing their loser-shite.” ‘There will NEVER be a true left Party as long as Labour are there oozing their loser-shite.’ See the symmetry? No? Thought not.

    The block on you achieving what you want is not the Tory party but the electorate. The electorate doesn’t want Corbyn or Ecksy; so broad coalitions are the name of the electoral day. (And please don’t spout any sub-Marxist crap about the Tory party preventing people seeing that their true interest is in a minimal state…etc.)

    As for your 1 and 2, you are fantasizing about the PM’s powers and displaying hindsight bias. Increasingly, you remind me of Spud.

  39. “The apparent higher death rate. Do we know if that is due to a higher chance of catching it, or due to a higher CFR once got it? If the former, it might be that cultural issues are also in play? If it’s the latter, that’s a different ball game?”
    The initial survey said twice as likely to catch it, then after that twice as likely to die from it having caught it.
    I don’t know whether Vit D might feature in either part of the equation. The Guardian, of course, blames poverty/crowding & demographics for the first part, but is silent on the second.

  40. Theo–so be PM and be unable to do anything except the most stupid possible moves?

    If you could reach Spud level it would be a big step up for you. You continue to enable those who are destroying not just you but fucking everything.

    Try your “pent-up demand” bollocks if Bottler Johnson keeps this shite going to October.

  41. Witchie, you are wrong about only whites darkening. I don’t know about the really dark African types, but most darker skinned races get darker with Sun.

  42. Bloke in North Dorset

    Rob,

    “So now the NHS can step in, offering one smaller jar of 30 tablets on prescription. About a third of the amount for three times as much.”

    My prescription Vit D are double the max OTC dose. If you get a regular prescription you can buy one of those NHS cards. I’m on free prescriptions now but did have one and it was a good saving.

    Gamecock,

    It’s difficult to get Vit D dosage wrong. Your body won’t synthesise more than it needs and when I looked in to it I’d have to take 75 of my prescription tablets a day for several months to get serious side effects.

  43. Careful, BiND. You don’t want people taking rat poison cause you said it was okay.

    “but most darker skinned races get darker with Sun.”

    Does “dark” have superlatives? Dark, darker, darkest? I guess so. But you’d probably have to be “dark” to notice.

  44. confirmed what many had suspected

    Not “suspected”, known since at least first week of March. But to admit or say was Racist – even here

    The government has promised that a review by Public Health England into how ethnicity affects

    Not needed. We know – Genes

    One thing never mentioned by these Lefties is Yellows, not just Whites much less affected than black, brown, hispanic, red indian

  45. I’m white, so why should I care, and that is not a facetious question.

    We, white people, are to blame for anything that anybody “BAME” individually, collectively or in any other way decides (or has decided for them) is in any imaginable way bad or disadvantageous.

    Or in anyway diminishes their natural state of philosopher king harmony, creativity, prosperity, and civilisations perfection that is so manifestly them.

    Well bleat all you like. I for one simply am not listening.

  46. “There is something deeply wrong with British political CULTURE.

    In some other countries there is debate about principles – here the Collectivist principles are the basis of an insane “consensus”, and the only debate is over details.

    I was reminded of the above listening to today’s “Prime Ministers Questions” – with the exception of one question (from Peter Bone, M.P. fr Wellingborough – a town a few miles from me) all the questions, regardless of the party the MP was a member of, were from the Progressive left point of view.

    And, yes, there were questions about C02 emissions – and it did not matter if the questioner was a Socialist, a Green, or a “Conservative” the point of view expressed was always THE SAME.

    Prime Minister Edward Heath was famously intolerant of “Reactionary” political opinions – insisting that ministers expressed “Progressive” opinions on everything from wage-and-price controls, to Mao’s China.

    As Prime Minister Mr Heath had access to information that clearly showed that Mao was responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of Chinese people – but this did not matter to Mr Heath, all that mattered was that Mao was “Progressive”, therefore he must be good. On the correct side of “history”.

    The mad exchanges in the House of Commons (and so on) with everyone expressing Collectivist opinions led Terry Arthur to write the book “95% Is Crap” – but in an important respect things are WORSE today.

    Mr Heath, for all his faults, did not really care what ordinary people thought and said – that some local Conservative did not like Mao, or thought wage and price controls were a bad idea, did not really bother him.

    But today, if someone expresses “non Progressive” opinions (on “the environment” or anything else) they are driven out by the party bureaucracy – “Central Office”.

    Also local Councillors (even if independents) are held to policies declaring a “Climate Emergency” and demanding that Frankfurt School of Marxism “Diversity and Inclusion” policies be followed (even though the people who elected them do NOT want that).

    The United Kingdom is NOT yet a totalitarian country – but it is not an exaggeration to say that we are heading in that direction.

    We are moving to position were no dissent over PRINCIPLES is allowed.

    Almost needless to say – Big Business with its endless pro “lockdown” adverts on television (“stay at home heroes” – do they not know that the term was originally ironic?) and “Diversity” campaigns, act as the Handmaidens of Tyranny.

    No large Corporation would dare OPPOSE “Net Zero” in public – on the contrary they fall over themselves to give money to the most extreme leftist groups. Even though Big Business must know that these groups want to nationalise the companies and send the shareholders to Death Camps.

    The motto of most of Big Business might as well be “Kill us! Kill us! Kill us!” both here – and in the United States.

    I believe they call their Suicide Death Cult policy – “Social Responsibility”.”

    The above is from Samizdata commenter Paul Marks. Who also has the measure of the Tory Party and notes its decline since that scum Heath.

  47. Not disagreeing with you, Ecks, but I do want to point out that all companies are different. Dupont and GE went total fascist crony capitalism, but most didn’t.

  48. You call it as it is, Mr Ecks. With the exception of their economic policies, the Tories are indistinguishable from Labour. And since progressive politics have costs, even the economic differences are marginal. The argument with both is who from & how they screw the maximum amount of taxation out of the punter.
    The only reason to vote Tory is they’re not Labour.

  49. @bis
    From 2010 to date all UK elections have been ‘elect least worst” party. Democracy in UK is dead & buried, we need a Thatcher/Trump to resurrect it

  50. Ain’t going to work, Pcar. The Left has abandoned democracy. They refuse to accept the results of any election that they don’t win.

    The civil war has begun.

    “The revolution won’t be televised.” – Gil Scott-Heron

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