The statistics show that although anyone can catch coronavirus (aka “Covid-19”), it’s generally older people that die as a consequence. It’s rare for anyone under 60 to succumb.
However, the odds of dying for a 70-year-old are actually very low, if the person is in good health.
In Italy, of the older people that died, nearly all had some underlying medical condition.
If you’re in your 60s or older, while the outbreak continues, your first and most important line of defence, is to avoid catching the virus, and the best advice is that given by the health authorities worldwide on regular hand washing, use of antibacterial/viral sanitiser and social distancing, even isolating yourself if you can, certainly from anyone displaying symptoms.
If you do get infected, as many will, despite best efforts, then your second line of defence is to take steps to avoid dying from it.
An important analysis was carried out in Italy on deaths so far at 17 March 2020, with these key points (reported on Bloomberg.com):
• More than 99% of Italy’s coronavirus fatalities were people who suffered from previous medical conditions (about 25% had one condition, another 25% had two conditions, and 49% had three or more conditions)
• More than 75% had high blood pressure, about 35% had diabetes and a third suffered from heart disease.
A Vox.com article added that “These chronic illnesses can leave organs degraded and more vulnerable to infection.”
So how to survive infection?
It would seem that the key to improving your chances of survival, if you are infected, is to have taken prior action to avoid these underlying conditions, or at least to manage any existing conditions.
In particular, if you have high blood pressure, then you must try to get this reduced, either by medication, or better still, by immediate and significant changes to a healthier diet.
An Aljazeera article gives some useful advice:
• Diabetes: High levels of sugars in your blood can dampen your immune system. It doesn’t matter what type of diabetes you have – now is a really good time to get on top of your sugars.
• Heart conditions. Take your medication and look at your diet and lifestyle choices. Avoid carbohydrate-heavy foods and increase your uptake of vegetables and lean meats such as chicken and fish. These simple changes may just save your life.
• Asthma and COPD. If you are using your reliever inhaler more than two to three times per week, you should speak with the clinician who manages your condition to see whether or not you need stepping up your treatment.
What am I doing?
I’ve a condition that’s not as serious as most, which I can’t do anything about, but which isn’t listed as a major underlying condition. But as I’m in the ‘older’ age group, I’m strictly following the advice about hygiene, and I’m also taking what precautions I reasonably can about social distancing.
Link to my post on “Blood Pressure”
Link to my post on “Diabetes”
Link to my post on “Heart Disease”
Link to my post on “Vitamin D and Coronavirus“