yes ... and no.
‘older’ is good short hand - but not good advice.
I’d like to see the data - even better the “ data ‘in formation’ “ behind that chart - because it is hiding the real reason - the real reason is not age.
As you get older - health deteriorates, immune system starts faltering and you will be higher risk ... IF your health has deteriorated and your immune system is starting to falter.
If it hasn’t you are ok - unlike say someone who is HIV positive and 19 - they are definitely high risk.
AND ... if you are going to use age - replace 'older' with the age - i can think of people in their 60s who are definitely not 'older’.
That all said, I do like Kevin's dig at the end ...
”If you write for Fox News or the Atlantic, you shouldn’t downplay the seriousness of the coronavirus epidemic. Given the average age of your viewers and readers, that’s just irresponsible.
@JohnPhilpin While I don’t love it, I can understand it. I can see at least three reasons why they would’ve gone this route:
First, many who are over 60 may not be at risk themselves, but may live with or in close proximity to others who are (eg. in a retirement community or assisted living facility). In the absence of a vaccine, the best bet to get a “herd immunity”-like environment is to try to keep the virus out of the population entirely.
Second, some over 60 have started to suffer cognitive decline. They may not be able to understand if they’re immunocompromised. Even if they aren’t, they may not be able to understand a nuanced message, or they might in the moment, but then forget at an unfortunate time and expose those at risk.
Finally, nuance is very difficult to convey in media (mass or social). Trying to articulate all this to a broad, highly diverse audience...probably won’t happen effectively. Only simple, clear messages tend to break through. Given those under 60 are more likely to understand if they’re at increased risk, I can appreciate the trade off they’ve made.
I understand the conundrum facing public health officials. I don’t envy them their job.
@JohnPhilpin I agree with you in most cases, but in terms of possible pandemics, I’d go with better safe than sorry and not ask people to self-judge their health. Also, the advice is directed to people with “severe chronic health conditions” too, which covers the people under 60 who do have a higher risk of death. (As for that 19 year old, I think that as long as they are taking their meds, their immune system should be in pretty good shape).
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