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3 Ways COVID Affects Men and Women Differently

By Angela Skrzynski, DO, Virtua Family Medicine Physician – Care After COVID 

At this stage in the game, it's safe to assume you're feeling some COVID burnout. Although, to be fair, you were probably over this virus at the same time last year. But the fact remains, we're still in the thick of it.

This virus continues to consume our day-to-day lives. But with terrifying variants paired with increased case counts and hospitalizations, COVID is here for the foreseeable future.

Nevertheless, we're still learning more and more about this virus each day. Like, for instance, the three ways it affects men and women differently.

  1. Men have been hit harder by the virus.
    Since the start of the pandemic, COVID-19 has killed more men than women at a pretty alarming rate – even though infection rates are nearly identical. A study by Global Health 50/50 found that for every 10 deaths among women, there are 13 in men.

    Many factors are at play when talking about these statistics. For starters, studies have shown that men's immune systems tend to have more of the risk factors for COVID-related complications than women’s do. Plus, we believe social behavior plays a role, as studies show that men are less likely to seek treatment or even follow safety guidelines.

  2. The pandemic exposed gender inequalities.
    Without question, all of our lives were negatively impacted by COVID. From job loss and lockdowns to those who got sick – this virus has tested us in ways we've never experienced. But when it comes to the social-economic impact, women have been far more vulnerable.

    In a recent study from McKinsey & Co, moms were more than three times as likely to take on domestic labor during the pandemic. One in 3 working moms said they thought about stepping back or quitting their careers entirely. In contrast, 71% of dads reported better mental well-being as a result of working from home.

  3. Long-haul COVID and the effect on women.
    Long-haul COVID – lingering symptoms that last long after a COVID infection – affects about 33% of people who have recovered from the virus. And these symptoms are different for everyone – ranging from shortness of breath and fatigue to persistent coughing and anxiety. But one thing is for sure: women are experiencing the brunt of it.

At Virtua, we created Care After COVID, a treatment and recovery program designed to help people with lingering COVID symptoms. , And staggeringly, women make up about 80% of the people we’ve treated.

COVID Can Be Persistent. Luckily, So Are We
If you've been dealing with lingering COVID symptoms, talking to both men and women, connect with Virtua's Care After COVID team here.


Updated October 18, 2021

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