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Three charts that show the risk of coronavirus to the old

It's hard to escape the conclusion that being old is, in itself, the most important "underlying condition" of the lot

By Seb Bacon   July 2020

According to a recent study, the over-80s are more than 500 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than the under-40s

As the lockdown loosens, the idea of somehow shielding “the vulnerable” is much discussed. But deciding who counts as vulnerable is fraught. In particular, many healthy and active older people bristle at the description—and especially at the idea of rules or advice that could condemn them, but not others, to stay at home.

The only case for any such discrimination must turn on relative risk. From the first reports from Wuhan, it has been vaguely said that Covid-19 is especially lethal to the “old and frail,” but it wasn’t possible to disentangle what that meant. Was the issue age…

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