One of the conversations I have with my brothers who live in Shaftesbury in Dorset is how little they think of second-homers from London. I am beginning why those in the South West fear the influx of Londoners. In Covid-19 terms – we are toxic.
The South West of England, though close to London is lagging London’s infection by an extraordinary amount
Data from France (where the extremes between the unpeopled countryside and the populous Paris is even greater) suggests that population density is a key determinant in the spread of infection.
France is extremely accurate in its daily reporting of Covid-19 deaths (much more so than UK) judging by the latest “excess mortality” figures issued by the French statistics agency, INSEE. The figures also reveal that one third of France has scarcely been touched by C19.
— John Lichfield (@john_lichfield) April 25, 2020
And this map backs up the correlation
People in Shaftesbury are fond of saying that London begins in Salisbury and in terms of infection, the difference between Hampshire and Dorset are startling.
The problem with second homers
It is hardly surprising then that my brothers want to see nothing of me, living as I do in the heart of the metropolis. But can London be locked down to protect those in the country?
It looks very unlikely which suggests that either we continue to have a general lockdown – or there could be a further exodus of wealthy Londoners to the shires and beyond.
I will warn my City neighbours, they may not be met by their rural equivalents with open arms.