Pandemic Hits Wealthier Areas First before It Spreads to Poor Areas

International data show that areas with high socioeconomic status were the areas most affected by the first wave of the pandemic. Then Covid-19 reached less privileged areas and spread fiercely in these communities. The spread of the Spanish flu that gripped the world about a hundred years ago was similar.

Jana Berkessel, Dr. Tobias Ebert and Prof. Dr. Jochen Gebauer from the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialfoschung (MZES)) of the University of Mannheim worked with other researchers from Denmark and the US to demonstrate how the pandemic spread, not only in Germany, but also in England and the US. The researcher made the astonishing discovery that the spread of Covid-19 and the Spanish flu were quite similar. This may be relevant for dealing with future pandemics.

Berkessel, Ebert and their team have published their study in the renowned journal “Social Psychological and Personality Science”. Their article describes two studies: For the first study, the researchers analyzed Covid-19 infection rates from approx. 400 German, 300 English and 3,000 US regions over time. For the second study, the research team analyzed historic data on 6,700 death from US citizens during the Spanish flu from 1918 to 1919.