Highlights:

  • Median age of Italy deaths over 80 years old
  • Victims had 2-3 complicating illnesses already
  • Peak mortality 80-89 years old
  • No Italian fatalities under 30 years old
  • US is putting no significant restrictions on at-risk here (Over 70, ill health) 

Italy is really the first country with a major outbreak of this from which we can get somewhat decent data (we can’t trust China or Iran). The news site The Local IT has some data updated last Friday from their original March 11 news story.

“‘The data on mortality are deepening with the medical records of the deceased,’ said president of Italy’s Higher Health Institute (Istituto Superiore di Sanità, or ISS), Silvio Brusaferro, as he presented the new data on Friday.”

“The picture is very similar to that given by previous statistics in Italy: the median age of the deceased is 80, the majority of victims are male, and they had an average of 2.7 pre-existing health conditions.”

“Just three of those who died had no pre-existing health conditions, the data showed. ‘Patients who died with coronavirus have an average age of over 80 years, 80.3. The peak of mortality is in the 80-89 year age range. Lethality, ie the number of deaths among the sick, is higher among those over 80,’ stated Brusaferro.

“The fatality rate among those aged under 30 is currently zero, and for under 40s it’s 0.3 percent … ISS data showed that almost 25 percent of all infected patients in Italy were between the ages of 19 and 50 years old.”  From thelocal.it news website

I’ve been appalled at the number of people I’ve seen in the grocery store who are squarely in this demographic, unable to walk, scooting along, picking up groceries. That’s what I call a suicide mission, given the communicability of this virus and the vulnerability of this demographic.

Instead of shaming young people (and others) for going to the beach, and shutting down nearly the whole economy, there should be a concerted effort to quarantine everyone in this age group with medical complications, and those younger Americans with severe vulnerabilities such as diabetes/obesity, heart disease, and cancer, and to provide for their needs in their homes.

There is nothing in the American press or government edicts mandating this, or even encouraging this, even in the center of the outbreak, New York. The UK has suggested it but is putting it off. It may be no one wants to enrage the older voter demographic, but dead people can’t vote.

Italy is a pretty good case study.  It’s obvious that the lock downs have not abated the death rate, which points to a broad spread of infection throughout the region. Children and the young, which probably get the virus just as much as anyone, but without any symptoms, and the middle aged who thought they just had the sniffles, have spread this just like any other bad cold gets spread in cold season.

I was speaking about this to a middle aged man with health complications, and he was saying, “No, we need to close the schools, we need to close the businesses. I don’t want to be quarantined!” I told him we can have Filet Mignon and Lobster delivered to him twice a day, a band to play songs to him in his condo parking lot, and an 80″ 4k TV installed for him (and everyone else like him) with the money lost in this irrational shutdown.  We spoke for a few minutes, and I thought I’d convinced him, but then he said again, “We’ve got to shut the schools down!”

It may be true, as a friend said, that the lemmings are already running off the cliff. As the increased testing reveals all the cases of Coronavirus out there (which the press will call “new” cases), and panic likely grows even more at the numbers, we will probably continue on this mad path that has already been set.

For the Christian, however, it will always remain true that “All is Well.”

“Ah! Christian, the hot day of weariness does not last forever; the sun is nearing the horizon; it shall rise again with a brighter day than you have ever seen upon a land where they serve God day and night, and yet rest from their labor. Here, rest is but partial, there, it is perfect. Here, the Christian is always unsettled; he feels that he has not yet attained. There, all are at rest; they have attained the summit of the mountain; they have ascended to the embrace of their God. They cannot go higher. Ah, work-worn laborer, only look forward to when you shall rest forever! Can you conceive of it? It is a rest eternal; a rest that “remains.” Here, my best joys display “mortal” on their forehead; my lovely flowers fade; my elegant cups are drained to dregs; my adorable birds fall before Death’s arrows; my most pleasant days are shadowed into nights; and the high tides of my happiness subside into ebbs of sorrow.”
But there, everything is immortal; the harp abides unrusted, the crown uncorroded, the eye undimmed, the voice unfaltering, the heart unwavering, and the immortal being is wholly absorbed in infinite delight. Happy day! Happy, when mortality shall be swallowed up by life, and the Eternal Sabbath shall begin.”

Morning, January 18, edited from Charles H. Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening