With the seemingly apocalyptic spread of the coronavirus monopolizing the news, a timely bullet point in the wall-to-wall coverage would be right to note that the leading presidential candidates are in the age group most vulnerable to serious symptomatic onset of the disease and even death.
The most aged among us are the most at risk from COVID-19, according to medical experts–namely, those older than 70.
Oddly enough, the “revolutionary” left’s leading 2020 politicos are Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, who are so old and entrenched, their origins go back to the pre-Baby Boomer epoch. Biden will be 78 in November of this year and Sanders turns 79 in September. The Washington Free Beacon noted the high risk for these two, and while it sounds morbid, the fact should be acknowledged.
A mathematician at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, in an interview with the New York Times, emphasized “the risk of severe disease and fatality, particularly in older groups, in the over-70s, over-80s,” for those who are infected by the novel coronavirus.
“Overall we’re seeing maybe 1 percent of symptomatic cases are fatal across all ages,” said Dr. Adam Kucharski. “There’s still some uncertainty on that, but what’s also important is that 1 percent isn’t evenly distributed. In younger groups, we’re talking perhaps 0.1 percent, which means that when you get into the older groups, you’re potentially talking about 5 percent, 10 percent of cases being fatal.”
The China Center for Disease Control goes further, saying that the mortality rate for coronavirus patients over 80 is almost 15 percent, as reported by the Scientific American.
According to researchers, age-related mortality rates are likely the result of the relative weakness of the respiratory system of those who are older. The Scientific American noted …
About half of the 109 Covid-19 patients (ages 22 to 94) treated at Central Hospital of Wuhan, researchers there reported, developed acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), in which fluid builds up in the small air sacs of the lungs. That restricts how much air the lungs can take in, reducing the oxygen supply to vital organs, sometimes fatally; half of the ARDS patients died, compared to 9% of patients who did not develop the syndrome.
The ARDS patients had an average age of 61, compared to an average age of 49 for those who did not develop ARDS. Elderly patients “were more likely to develop ARDS,” the researchers wrote, suggesting how age can make Covid-19 more severe and even fatal: age increases the risk that the respiratory system will basically shut down under viral assault.
Underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, hypertension, and cancer for those of any age also increase the risk of death for coronavirus sufferers.
The contagious nature of coronavirus adds to the danger for politicians accustomed to, and perhaps who are even required to meet and greet people all day long, shaking hands, embracing, and talking with complete strangers in the midst of large groups.
It will not surprise many if either or both Sanders and Biden curtail their personal campaign appearances going forward to reduce their exposure to the spreading coronavirus. If they were to catch the virus, there is no ready remedy. Neither is there a vaccine available to prevent illness.
To be fair, President Trump will be 74 in June, so he too is at elevated risk from COVID-19. Most observers would wager that there is no chance that the energetic, Type A workaholic in the White House will slow his pace or attempt to shield himself from the public beyond some common-sense rules that everyone is being advised to undertake these days by the medical community.
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