How to deal with COVID-19 when you are over 65
Who catches it?

The spread of COVID-19

Person to person spread

The coronavirus spreads in human-to-human respiratory droplets, and is not spread through the skin.  This means directly through coughing and sneezing, but also by touching surfaces with those droplets on them and then touching our faces.  The virus can live outside a human for up to 3 hours in the air as a droplet, up to a day on a cardboard surface, and up to 2-3 days on plastic or stainless steel.  There is no evidence yet that it can spread through other bodily fluids.

Everyone is at risk

No-one has any natural protection against getting infected.  The infection rate is reported to be the same whatever the age group. Although younger health people and children may show fewer, milder and sometimes no symptoms they spread the virus just as easily as other people.  Many people get infected without knowing who they caught it from.

Older people are more vulnerable

Although everyone is vulnerable to the virus some are more so than others:
  • People aged 70 and over
  • People with a long-term condition such as diabetes, heart disease and lung disease
  • People with a weakened immune system which would otherwise give them some protection to the effects of the infection (such as people on anti-cancer drugs, or following a transplant, AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, or lupus).   Smoking, alcohol and poor diets also weaken people’s immune system.
  • Women who are pregnant