COVID-19: How Age Affects Aspect


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Portrait of friendly caregiver posing with elderly ill woman wearing surgical mask because of covid-19 pandemic

Kirk Dye, Reporter

There are a variety of factors that change a person’s view on this pandemic and age is a major one. COVID-19 has been seen to be the most dangerous and life threatening in elderly patients and people with underlying health conditions. People who are younger and have stronger immune systems are much less likely to become seriously ill or pass away. These statistics are playing a large role in how age groups are conducting themselves differently during these times. Some disagree with being told that they have to stay home or that they are required to wear a face mask, whereas others are embracing the methods recommended by doctors and scientists in an attempt to finally return life to normalcy.

Dominic Morand-Rivers, a 17 year old who goes to DeForest, explains how his lifestyle hasn’t required significant change since he is less at risk. He says that “COVID is nothing more than a flu for kids my age.” This claim is circumstantial based on various health factors, however the death rate for children 0-18 years of age is less than 0.1% according to the National Center for Health Statistics. While Morand-Rivers finds the virus to have little effect on him, it doesn’t stop him from participating in safe practices in public. “I wear a mask when I am around others to try to protect myself and them from the virus.” This type of thinking is common between people this age, and hopefully they can help stop the spread of COVID-19 while keeping themselves and others safe.

John Madigan, is a 48 year old who has endured this pandemic in a slightly different way. Since he is at more risk, he has taken extra precautions to keep himself and his family safe. “I don’t go out unless I need to,” he explains. Madigan utilizes the hobbies he enjoys to keep himself busy while he is at home. He does construction projects and side jobs when he has free time. “I like to find things to keep me busy around the house so I don’t need to go out and risk getting sick.” While Madigan lives a little more reserved than Morand-Rivers, he is not in full lockdown mode and still enjoys going out from time to time. The gap between age is a major reason why they both are living in different ways.

Joanne Dye, a 73 year old lady who has been skating through COVID lives an extremely different lifestyle from those we have previously discussed. Joanne and her husband, Dick, live secluded from contact with others in order to keep themselves safe. They get by while staying at home and only rarely go out, for necessities such as groceries and toilet paper. “We’ve made it too far to risk anything now,” Dye says. With having already been stuck inside their house for close to a year now, they are taking extra precautions so as to not risk getting infected this close to the vaccine being available to the public. For them, the vaccine is the answer. They plan on getting it soon and when they do they will be able to return to a more typical life, being able to spend time with their friends and family.

The unfortunate reality that mostly elderly people are heavily affected by COVID the most shows by their behavior and contact with others. The young, happy-go-lucky youth don’t see it being anything more than a flu or common cold. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the elderly who live with an increased risk of the virus are much more likely to take extra steps to ensure their safety. Even though this virus may not treat us all the same, we can still all do our part to help keep ourselves and others safe.