Understanding and Combating the effects of COVID-19 on the older population

Updated on July 26, 2020

The global pandemic caused by COVID-19 has marked its name as one of the most significant infectious outbreaks in recorded history. As of July, the 11th, 2020, this infectious disease affected more than 12.7 million people and led to 565,000 deaths. The negative impact of this viral infection spreads beyond the damage it wreaked on the healthcare system to involve the economy, psychological complications of home quarantine, and more.

Unfortunately, older individuals are prone to develop severe forms of COVID-19, hence the need for strict precautions to prevent the transmission. The mortality rate for COVID-19 grows exponentially with age based on the data from multiple countries, including Italy, Spain, South Korea, and China. Moreover, people with chronic medical conditions are at high risk, which is also seen in the elderly who often have one or two chronic diseases.

In this article, we will cover the reasons behind this susceptibility and how you can protect yourself and optimize your immune system. There are several ways listed by healthcare officials to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus, including:

Frequent handwashing

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), SARS-Cov2 (the coronavirus) gets transmitted via respiratory droplets. These droplets are tiny water vesicles loaded with the coronavirus and can penetrate the respiratory system of healthy individuals during coughing or sneezing. The good news is that the virus is susceptible to soap and disinfectants (alcohol-based) because of its biochemical composition. Therefore, you and your family should prioritize this habit to prevent the transmission of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that washing your hands with soap and water is sufficient to eradicate all microbes, including SARS-Cov2.

Avoid contact with sick individuals

As an elderly individual, you should avoid contact with sick people by all means.  According to health officials, the risk of transmission is at its peak when the infected patient is symptomatic since the viral load will be extremely high. Therefore, if you are outside and meet someone who has flu-like symptoms (e.g., sneezing, coughing, dyspnea), you must steer clear of him/her. This tip also applies to your relatives and friends, as they could be a vector that carries the infection.

Educate yourself

Informing yourself about the transmission of the coronavirus and how it affects the older age groups is crucial to reduce stress and anxiety. The best way to stay connected is by visiting reputable online sources, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other authoritative websites. This step will help reduce your stress, which is essential to maintain an optimally functioning immune system.

Slow Down the Aging Process

The idea is to target the aging process itself and slow down the onset of the underlying age-related damage that makes people more vulnerable with age. By slowing down the aging process, you could successfully make yourself less vulnerable to COVID-19.   Some of the drugs that could be effective are also called geoprotectors. For example, sirolimus (rapamycin) and its close derivative rapalog everolimus (RAD001), decreased infection rates in a small sample of elderly patients. A recent paper following COVID patients showed that people with diabetes who took metformin had 4x lower instances of being critically ill than those that did not take metformin.

To slow down the Covid-19 death toll, we need to focus on slowing down aging. This is the mission of AgelessRx, a telemedicine longevity clinic.  If you want to learn more about slowing down the effects of aging, visit www.AgelessRx.com.

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