Thinking Citizen Blog — Seniors versus Non-Seniors

Thinking Citizen Blog — Thursday is Health, Health Care and Global Health Policy Day

Today’s Topic: Seniors versus Non-Seniors: how to think about the trade-offs?

How can the economy be opened up without threatening seniors? Which country, which state has come up with the best balance? Today, the summary of an op-ed piece with some interesting statistics and perhaps some out-of-date conclusions. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.

MEDIAN AGE OF US COVID CASUALTIES: 80

  1. 80% of US Covid-19 casualties over the age of 65.
  2. “Americans over 85 are about 2.75 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than those 75 to 84, seven times more likely than those 65 to 74 and 16.8 times more than those 55 to 64.”
  3. “individuals under age 65 accounted for 4.8% to 9.3% of all Covid-19 deaths in 10 European countries and 7.8% to 23.9% in 12 U.S. locations.”

GOOD NEWS FOR THOSE OVER 65

  1. “Most people over age 65 who are in generally good health are unlikely to die or get severely ill from Covid-19.”
  2. “Data from Spain’s national antibody study show that about 92% of those infected from ages 60 to 79 have mild or no symptoms, and only about 6% are hospitalized.”
  3. “Three-quarters of people older than 90 have mild or no symptoms and fewer than 10% die.”

NB: “In California and Florida, the fatality risk for the under-65 crowd is about equal to driving 16 to 17 miles per day. While higher in hot spots like New York (668 miles) and New Jersey (572 miles), the death risk is still lower than the public perceives.”

CONCLUSIONS — does the recent spike in Florida cases invalidate this argument?

  1. “Governments can keep down health-care utilization even while letting their economies mostly reopen by protecting vulnerable seniors — for instance, by allocating more protective equipment to nursing homes and frequently testing workers.”
  2. “This is what Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been doing, and the Sunshine State last month had about a third as many new hospitalizations per capita as New York, which remained mostly shut down.”
  3. “Lifting lockdowns doesn’t have to result in a repeat of the March rampages through nursing homes.”

Opinion | The Covid Age Penalty

YOUR TURN

Please share the most interesting thing you learned in the last week related to health, health care or health care policy — the ethics, economics, politics, history….

Or the coolest, most important thing you learned in your life related to health are or health care policy that the rest of us may have missed. Or just some random health-related fact that blew you away. This is your chance to make some one’s day. Or to cement in your mind something really important you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than you otherwise would about something that matters.

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