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1. COVID-19 is dangerous for people with lung problems, heart problems, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. This isn’t limited to the elderly. A young person with diabetes is at an increased risk for a severe coronavirus infection just as an elderly person is. https://www.nationalgeographic.com
3. While 80% of those infected will have only a mild case, which leaves 20% who will have a severe case. This means that if you know 100 people who have the coronavirus, then twenty of those people will have a severe case. If those 20 people are elderly, then 2-3 of them have a high probability of dying because of the virus.
4. This brings us to mortality rates. The World Health Organization has established the death rate of COVID-19 at an average of 3.4% for people in the 60-69 age bracket. However, that rate jumps to 8% for the 70-79% age bracket and then to 14.8% for those over 80. By contrast, the flu has a 0.1% mortality rate across all age brackets. So this virus is more deadly than the flu.
Does this mean we need to panic? Of course not. Panic never solves anything. However, we need to educate ourselves, and we need to start taking seriously the fact that for some in our communities, this virus can be a death sentence.
You may think you are clever when you post statements from random doctors who say they are more scared of bed bugs and chain saws than the coronavirus. In reality, you are sending a message to those of us at a higher risk that you do not take seriously our health and safety. If you are healthy and don’t have any risk factors for complications from the coronavirus, then be grateful for your youth and/or good health. But do not in the arrogance of that youth and/or good health dismiss the coronavirus as unimportant.
COVID-19 kills, and when it becomes severe, it kills quickly and without mercy. Consider those in your life who are elderly or have high blood pressure or asthma. Do you want to lose those people? Are you ready to bury grandparents and great-grandparents because they succumbed to COVID-19? How about your 20-year-old cousin who has asthma?
Of course, we need to wash our hands, avoid touching our faces, and stay home when we feel ill. This is true every flu season. But we also need to listen to the CDC, WHO, and the NIH when they say that COVID-19 is serious and that social isolation and even quarantining may be necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Even if you aren’t very ill with COVID-19, you could be the source of an infection that makes someone else gravely ill. This is about much more than you and your mild cold-like symptoms. This is about community health and protecting those more vulnerable than you—even if you are somewhat inconvenienced by the process.
COVID-19 is serious. It’s time we all played a role in taking care of each other. Let’s start by dumping the misleading and dismissive memes that claim the coronavirus is nothing more than the flu. If nothing else, those of us at the greatest risk from COVID-19 will feel like maybe we matter just a bit.
In case you missed it: Coronavirus: Clueless Trump Says It Will Be Gone By Spring