If I was four months older I would have to consider following the latest coronavirus advice of “avoiding crowds, public transport and supermarkets” as by then I’ll be in the vulnerable over-60s age group.
It all feels a bit late really as I’ve spent most of the last week on holiday in Marrakesh amongst people from all over the world. I’ve shared lifts, a swimming pool, a breakfast buffet table and two flights with literally hundreds of them.
I know it’s totally wrong to think like this but I couldn’t help holding my breath when I was joined in a small lift by a group of distinctly looking oriental people. I know the odds of them being infected are infinitesimal and I guess they wouldn’t be allowed to travel if coming from an affected area but at my age you can’t be too careful!
The advice to the over-60s was put out by the World Health Organisation, which also told “the elderly” to skip routine appointments at doctors’ surgeries and hospitals.
WHO’s Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted: “If you are 60+, or have an underlying condition like cardiovascular disease, a respiratory condition or diabetes, you have a higher risk of developing severe #COVID19. Try to avoid crowded areas, or places where you might interact with people who are sick.”
Evidence from China, where the deadly virus originated, shows older people are far more likely to fall seriously ill with coronavirus, with one in seven of those over 80 known to have contracted it dying. By contrast, the average death rate among all confirmed cases is around two per cent.
Sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice
WHO spokeswoman Dr Margaret Harris urged “older people” to stay off public transport, and encouraged them to order goods remotely rather than going to the shops. Dr Harris also said the elderly should use the phone or have a video consultation instead of going to their GP in person. Be
Being so close to that vulnerable group of the “over-60s” and “the elderly” is something I don’t much like but I guess the health facts speak for themselves. As well as being nearly over 60 I’m also an asthma sufferer so I guess I’m doubly at risk.
Apart from my natural scepticism of these things the only thing that gives me reassurance is seeing our once-again fecund PM Boris Johnson trying to look serious after his recent trip to Public Health England.
The video of him following yesterday’s Cobra meeting with his unkempt hair and overly serious demeanor talking daft things like singing happy birthday twice is probably unintentionally the best way of making sure we all do the British thing of just keeping calm and carrying on.