Forget everything you’ve heard about aging and coronavirus.
Ageism dominates medical recommendations.
COVID-19 Reporting Makes Ageism Acceptable
Last weekend, in their June 13–14 issue, the Wall Street Journal titled their leading editorial — the one in the upper left, with extra-large type — “The Covid Age Penalty.” The article begins, “By now it’s clear that people older than 65 are the most vulnerable to the novel coronavirus.”
There’s just one problem. There’s no published evidence that age alone makes people more susceptible to getting the virus or a more severe illness.
In fact, this article goes on to say, “The good news is that most people over 65 who are in generally good health are unlikely to die or get severely ill from COVID-19.”
So…why doesn’t the influential WSJ title their lead editorial, “The Comorbidity Penalty?”
Evidence from Outside the US: It’s not about age.
Shortly afterward, the same WSJ published a knowledgeable, credible article: Virus Hits Younger People More In Poor Places. In Mexico, just 17% of Covid deaths occur in people over 75; that number is 12% in India. The article says:
“Doctors say the virus isn’t behaving differently outside the US and Europe. It still causes far more complications for the elderly than the young. The reasons more middle-aged people are dying in poorer countries include demographics, a greater prevalence of underlying diseases, and weaker health care systems…”
“Another reason fewer older people are dying in poorer nations is the lack of institutionalized care for the elderly. An estimated one-third or more of deaths in the US have taken place in nursing homes…”
Like most media sources, the article provides facts but refuses to draw an obvious conclusion. Age isn’t the culprit. Comorbidities and crowded living situations contribute strongly to susceptibility to COVID-19 and to the severity of cases among those afflicted.
“Everybody knows” means, “This is a lie.”
Amidst the furor of COVID-19, news stories continue to demonize, patronize, and insult older people. My…