A new Harvard-led analysis finds that COVID-19 patients that live in areas with higher air pollution, such as New York City, have experienced a higher death-rate from the infection than those who lived in areas with cleaner air.
Similar effects were found for SARS patients in China back in 2003 when researchers from the University of California Fielding School of Public Health compared outcomes in China.
The researchers argue that their study reinforces the need to enforce existing regulations around air pollution, and we would argue that it also makes a good case for tightening pollution regulations further.
One bit of good news is that the plummeting levels of pollution-producing activity that resulting from worldwide lockdown measures have dramatically improved levels of air pollution. The crux of the matter – will we be able to use this experience to find new ways to tackle pollution in the future?