Pictured: average coronavirus victim.
People used to say that children were the future, but now the motto is “old people who are about to die are the future.”
Most of the people dying from coronavirus are very old.
The future of the young has been traded for the ephemeral present of the old.
The link between age and high death rates from coronavirus has been confirmed for the first time by researchers – and it could help predict the scale of future outbreaks.
The University of Oxford study highlights the importance of age and demographics in explaining why some countries have higher rates of fatality than others.
They found that in Italy the rate of death was 1.7 times greater than in South Korea despite both nations having an early outbreak of the deadly COVID-19.
Lead author Jennifer Dowd said the information in the study could be used to forecast how COVID-19 will play out in different countries as it continues to spread.
The study was motivated to examine the impact of age on the virus by the early severity and number of deaths of COVID-19 in Italy compared to South Korea.
Currently, COVID-19 mortality risk is highly concentrated at older ages, particularly those aged over 80, according to the Oxford team.
They say that by understanding a countries age demographic it is possible to predict the burden of critical cases and help plan the need for hospital beds and staff.
‘Until more nuanced data on comorbidities becomes available, the concentration of mortality risk in the oldest ages is one of the best tools we have to understand and deal with Covid-19 at local and national levels,’ said Dowd.
The researchers used data on death rates and population age in Italy and compared it to the US and Nigeria – which has one of the youngest populations in the world, as can be seen in this animated graph.
The demography and population health expert says the way different age groups interact in a nation is also vital to understanding the spread of the virus.
The impact of the virus on Italy has helped the research team create a new demographic science forecasting approach to COVID-19.
Italy has one of the oldest populations in the world with 23.3 per cent of the country over the age of 65, compared to 14 per cent in South Korea.
Using the current age-specific case fatality rate in Italy, the researchers were able to show how population age structure interacts with high COVID-19 mortality rates at older ages to generate large differences in numbers of deaths.
In Italy, the predicted number of fatalities was 1.7 times greater than for South Korea.
‘Our demographic science forecasting approach shows how Covid-19 could play out in different places, and could be an important tool for governments and policy makers,’ says Dowd.
‘Holding other factors such as medical capacity constant, a younger age structure should provide protection to a population,’ the author added.
‘Countries and localities with older populations will need to take more aggressive protective measures to stay below the threshold of critical cases that outstrip health system capacity.’
This could include much stricter lockdown measures, particularly involving older people and interaction with older people.
Instead of obliterating the economy and ruining everyone’s lives, why not just create boomer camps and throw all of the old people in them?
Or just create one entire country for old people and send everyone in there?
We created Israel for the Jews, so there’s really no good reason why we couldn’t just create a new country for boomers too.
Joe Biden can be president of it.
BIDEN: "Um, you know, there's a, uh, during World War II, uh, you know, where Roosevelt came up with a thing, uh, that, uh, you know, was totally different than a- than the- it's called, he called it, the, you know, the World War II, he had the war- the the War Production Board." pic.twitter.com/CwFSW2UITD
— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) April 17, 2020