Stayin’ Alive: What Those Over 50 Need to Know to Keep COVID From Killing Us

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Stayin’ Alive: What Those Over 50 Need to Know to Keep COVID From Killing Us


Like everyone else in the world, I’m concerned about Covid-19. Though it seems we’re all at risk of being infected, not all of us are at equal risk for getting sick or dying from the disease. We watch the news and try to make sense of all the conflicting information we are being given. But if you’re like me, what we really want to know isn’t about the daily increase in cases or deaths throughout the U.S. and around the world. We want to know if we’re going to die or get sick enough to be hospitalized or if it will happen to someone we love. 

As a health-care professional with a PhD in International Health and 50 years’ experience working in the field, I’ve been sharing what I’ve learned in a series of articles I post weekly on my website.

According to a Harvard Medical School report, “Covid-19 Basics” updated on May 20, 2020, “It appears that the risk of death with the pandemic coronavirus infection (commonly estimated at about 1%) is far less than it was for SARS (approximately 11%) and MERS (about 35%), but will likely be higher than the risk from seasonal flu (which averages about 0.1%).”

So, the good news is that it appears that approximately 99% of us are not going to die from Covid-19. Of course, that’s little comfort to the more than 300,000 people who have died world-wide or the more than 100,000 who have died in the U.S.

I’ve found it helpful to examine the risk for death and disability of Covid-19 in two different…

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