How exposed are you?

If you're a man who works as a taxi driver, bus driver, chef or retail sales assistant you have an increased rate of dying from Covid-19, that's according to a new report from the Office of National Statistics. The ONS have compared statistics from the number of registered deaths in England and Wales up to an including the 20th April and the figures are uncomfortable reading.


Men are two-thirds more likely to die from Covid-19, than women, with a death rate of 9.9 deaths per 100,000 people compared with 5.2 deaths per 100,000 in women.


As you might imagine, men and women working in social care, the group including care workers and home carers, both had significantly raised rates of death involving COVID-19, with rates of 23.4 deaths per 100,000 for men and 9.6 deaths per 100,000 for women.


But it doesn't stop there, men working in the lowest skilled jobs have the highest rate of death with 21.4 deaths per 100,000.


  • Men working as security guards had one of the highest rates of death (45.7 deaths per 100,000);

  • taxi drivers and chauffeurs (36.4 deaths per 100,000);

  • bus and coach drivers (26.4 deaths per 100,000);

  • chefs (35.9 deaths per 100,000);

  • and sales and retail assistants (19.8 deaths per 100,000).


The guidelines on social distancing have been put in place to help reduce the spread of infection, these figures show there is a clear correlation between exposure to disease and physical proximity to other people across all occupations. The groups most vulnerable here are low paid, majority women and over 55.


75% of people in occupations requiring the most frequent contact with people, and exposure to disease, are women.


Workers aged 55 and over are over-represented as care escorts, ambulance staff (excluding paramedics), and houseparents and residential wardens.


Six out of 16 of the occupations with very high potential exposure have average pay less than £13.21 an hour.


Healthcare unsurprisingly involves both exposure and physical proximity to the disease, but during the pandemic workers here are more likely to be using personal protective equipment.