The new virus is behaving very differently from most viruses, like the flu for example, as it is not dangerous to both the very young and the very old. Statistics from China suggest it kills no children under the age of 10 (as of the date the figures were published) and close to 22 percent of those over 80. Especially at risk are those over the age of 80 with pre-existing vulnerabilities.
Most respiratory infections have a U shaped curve, hitting both the old whose immune systems are failing and the young, whose immune systems are not online. While scientists try and figure out this odd aspect of the virus, its time to consider how we can care for the most vulnerable among us.
In the United States, about 30 percent of older adults live alone. That means many of them have no one to drop off groceries or pick up medicine for them should they need to try and stay out of harm’s way when pandemic comes to their local community.
Hopefully, all the folks in the US who have volunteered to serve on medical missions abroad will have the heart to reach out to the senior citizens near by.