COVID-19 and the Elderly

Author(s): Geneva M Edwards

COVID-19: Coronavirus
Once an individual turns 65 years old, they are classified as elderly. The elderly population is often rejected,
neglected, and abused. They have always faced physical and mental challenges, and now, there is even a
more serious challenge they must face, COVID-19.
As COVID-19 spread in China, in December 2019, it was classified as an epidemic. Once it spread across
several countries, by March 11, 2020, the WHO classified it as a pandemic. In the US, this disease has
affected the elderly population the most. Adults 65 and older account for 16% of the US population but
80% of COVID-19 deaths in the US. This is somewhat higher than this population’s share of deaths from all
causes (75%) over the same period.
Underlying Medical Conditions/Comorbities
A few of the underlying medical conditions that increase the risk of developing’s severe COVID 19 disease:
Cancer, Cardiac Disease, Chronic Renal Disease, COPD, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Weakened Immune
The system, and Sickle Cell. If there is comorbidity, the presence of two or more medical conditions, an
individuals’ immune system is weakened even more so.
The COVID-19 situation among the elderly is dire. However, there is good news. It is now left in the hands
of healthcare professionals. As healthcare professionals, we have all the power to take the necessary
actions, to protect society’s most precious population. We have a duty; therefore, we must find a way to
help the elderly overcome, control, and survive the COVID 19 pandemic. Are masks, proper hand washings,
sanitizer, and social distancing, enough to control this pandemic among the elderly? We must find this out
and act accordingly.