The Coronavirus Is Deadly for Older People

This may be common knowledge by now, but just in case it’s not, here is the approximate case fatality rate—i.e., your chances of dying if you get infected—for the coronavirus by age group:

For those under 50, catching the coronavirus is no fun but not very deadly. Things get worse when you hit your 50s and 60s. It’s still not panic territory, but it’s obviously worth taking precautions seriously.

However, above age 70 the coronavirus is very, very dangerous. If you work with the elderly, you need to ensure that they stay safe, self-quarantine when necessary, and follow the CDC’s hand washing advice. This also goes for any media outlet that has an older demographic. If you write for Fox News or the Atlantic, you shouldn’t downplay the seriousness of the coronavirus epidemic. Given the average age of your viewers and readers, that’s just irresponsible.

We Recommend


Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.