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Britain has a hidden coronavirus crisis – and it's shaped by inequality

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As the pandemic spreads across the world, it’s the number of tragic deaths and the hunt for a vaccine that dominate headlines. The social fallout of the virus is receiving less attention. The women locked in with abusive partners. The vulnerable children, invisible to social workers now that schools are closed. We might call them the hidden casualties of coronavirus: the ones who are unable to find safety within the four walls of home.

Take the families going hungry. Research conducted by the Food Foundation has revealed that 3 million people in Britain are living in households where someone has been forced to skip some meals, and 1.5 million people have gone without food for a whole day because they had no money or access to food.

The causation is clear enough: a cocktail of rising food bills, unemployment and reduced wages from the pandemic, the paucity of the social security system, and isolation of those for whom even a trip to Tesco is now a luxury.

It’s not hard to imagine how this is playing out in homes and communities across the UK. Doing “one big shop” to avoid going out only works if you happen to have £150 in your bank account. When panic buying reduces stock, low-income families........

© The Guardian