It used to be a pretty good rule of thumb that whenever any catastrophe had global consequences, poorer nations would be much harder hit than the richer ones. Hence you would have expected that in many poorer countries, and in the poorest parts of those countries where people live crowded together with inadequate sanitary conditions, the deaths from the pandemic would have skyrocketed. And yet one of the notable features of this pandemic is the reversal of this pattern.
In the March 1, 2021 issue of The New Yorker Siddhartha Mukherjee looked at one particular case of Dharavi, a slum in Mumbai that is the largest in Asia where “a million residents live in shanties, some packed so closely together that they can hear their neighbors’ snores at night. When I visited it a few years ago, open drains were spilling water onto crowded lanes.”