By Ariana Eunjung Cha and Dan Keating: For Complete Post, Click Here…
Nearly 9 out of 10 deaths are now in people 65 or older, the highest rate since the pandemic began.
President Biden may have declared the coronavirus pandemic “over,” but from John Felton’s view as the Yellowstone County health officer in Billings, Mont., it’s not over, just different.
Now, more than ever,it is a plague of the elderly.
In October, Felton’s team logged six deaths due to the virus, many of them among vaccinated people. Their ages: 80s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 90s. Yellowstone County made the decision early in the crisis to recognize each death individually, and Felton said that is as important as ever to acknowledge the unrelenting toll on a still-vulnerable older generation, while most everyone else has moved on.
“I think about someone’s grandfather — the plays they wouldn’t watch, the games on the football field they wouldn’t see,” he said.
More than 300 people are still dying each day on average from covid-19, most of them 65 or older, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While that’s much lower than the 2,000 daily toll at the peak of the delta wave, it is still roughly two to three times the rate at which people die of the flu — renewing debate about what is an “acceptable loss.”