Density population and coronavirus

This is an important but under-discussed factor in the challenge of dealing with coronavirus - the density of population in different countries.

This obviously is a huge factor both in the speed of the initial spread of the virus - higher density means someone with COVID would have come in to contact with far more people pre-lockdown - as well as having a big impact on the effectiveness of lockdown conditions.

As you can see from this graph, the UK has one of the highest population densities, and London is one of the most crowded cities in the world. This means that the virus would have spread far more quickly when it entered the UK than it would in, for example in Australia. Their population density is 3 people per square km, whilst in London the density is more than 4,500 people per square kilometre. The UK as a whole has a density of 279 people/km2.

For many reasons it's only really helpful therefore to compare yourself with other countries that have similar circumstances. Clearly it's much easier to isolate a virus in a place where there are very few people. As you can see the UK figures are very similar to many other similar countries in terms of density like France, Switzerland or the Netherlands. So when people in the media or online compare our figures to place like Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Norway or Sweden for example, it's worth considering that their battle has been very different to ours.

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