Shouting From the Mountain-Top

Paramedics and an ambulance are seen outside the Excel Centre, London while it is being prepared to become the NHS Nightingale Hospital, as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues, in London, April 1, 2020. Henry Nicholls/Reuters

There was a guy on Twitter outraged at the college closings for the coming Fall semester. His statement was that people under 24 have a superior chance of being struck by lightening than being struck down by COVID-19. Therefore, college campuses should be “full go” he reasoned. 

Well, I don’t know about the superior chance of being struck by lightening bit, but a new study published in a scientific journal, The Lancet, does suggest the chances of succumbing to COVID-19 increases for every decade you’re alive. This study had more contributors than Carter had liver pills. It examined data from individuals testing positive in 38-countries. 

The study revealed that the death rate among those sickened by the disease and in their 20s is 0.03%. If the people are in their 30s, it rose to 0.08%. 

The death rate among people in their 40s was 0.16%. The death rate for people in their 50s rose to 0.6%, 1.9% for the 60s-set, 4.3% for people in their 70s; and 7.8% for the octogenarians. The difference in the apportioned risk versus the decade of the subjects’ age is startling and persuasive. 

So, screw the older crowd and let’s get these colleges back open. How many 70 and older people is that effecting anyway? 

That seems to be an entirely narcissistic way to look at the situation. Sure, if the colleges have undergraduates and graduate students come back on campus this Fall, these kids, the oldest of which are generally in their 30s and ancient in that culture even if that old, probably have a slight risk of death. 

However, that doesn’t mean the chances of the kids being infected are slight. That doesn’t mean their chances of spreading the epidemic to age groups way more susceptible to dying diminishes any. That doesn’t mean they won’t infect health-care workers at student clinics across the country who will take it home with them to only God knows who. 

Simply put, the attitude of “It’s chances of killing me are less than my chances of getting struck by lightening, so screw everyone else so long as I get to do what I want,”  is entirely “modern-day” and new-age American. That doesn’t make it right.

This is your old Uncle Abe Yokem, much older than 24, and still up here (for now) SHOUTING FROM THIS MOUNTAIN-TOP! 


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