The health effects of extreme cold are life threatening.

The unprecedented crisis created by the Covid-19 Pandemic is impacting the lives of millions of people. Families who were already struggling are now at severe risk, and many will be unable to pay their utility bills. The need for coats this fall and winter will be greater than ever before.

Approximately 200,000 people die each year from the cold. (1)

Children are unable to regulate their body temperatures as adults do. They can quickly develop hypothermia without protection from the cold. (2)

Cold weather makes the body work harder, putting stress on the heart to ensure the body stays warm. (3)

A 2015 study found up to a 31% increase in heart attacks in the coldest months of the year compared with the warmest. (4)

Exposure to cold predisposes people, especially children, to infections like pneumonia. (2)

Who needs a coat?

Children

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 1 in 5 children in America was living in poverty.

American children are overrepresented among the nation’s poor: prior to the pandemic, 41% of all children were living in low-income households. (5)

Families

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 39 million Americans were living in poverty. To date, more than 40 million Americas have applied for unemployment.

For poor families and individuals, the winter months are more expensive and a present a bigger strain on their budget. (5)

Veterans

More than 1.5 million veterans were living in poverty before the pandemic began.  The poverty rate of veterans is nearing 7% and growing each year.

Before the pandemic, more than 30% of veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 were unemployed. (6)

Seniors

Before the pandemic, 1 in 3 senior households were barely able to pay their monthly bills, with no money left over.

More than 25 million Americans aged 60+ were living at or below the federal poverty level before the economic crisis created by the pandemic. These older adults struggle with rising housing and health care bills, inadequate nutrition, lack of access to transportation, diminished savings, and job loss. (5)

Citations:

1: (2016) PLOS ONE 2015
2: Troullos, E. Baird, L. Jayawardena,S. (2014) Common Cold Symptoms in Children. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 12
3: Cool Antarctica. 2018. Cold Weather and Health – How do cold temperatures affect health and well being? – The dangers of cold.
4: Harrar; Roberts. 2018. Why the Risk of Heart Attack Rise in Winter. Consumer Reports.
5: SEMEGA, J; KOLLAR, M; CREAMER, J, and MOHANTY, A. 2019. Income and Poverty in the United States: 2018. United States Census Bureau.
6. 2015. Veteran Poverty Trends. United States Department of Veteran Affairs.