Late last week, Lisa Bayautet received a phone call from a friend, who had bad news that was also kind of heartwarming, in a way.
The friend, who works at a law firm, has a co-worker who has a roommate who was tested for COVID-19. The friend asked if it was OK to cancel their upcoming lunch plans, not only for their general safety, but also because Bayautet takes medication for psoriatic arthritis that suppresses her immune system.
“I do really appreciate that she asked,” said Bayautet, a 56-year-old Vancouver resident.
As COVID-19 cases continue to increase across the U.S. and Washington, in particular, Clark County Public Health has made the recommendation that people who are older than 60, have weakened immune systems or serious chronic medical conditions stay away from large group gatherings.
So far, COVID-19 doesn’t appear to be particularly contagious, serious or deadly for most younger, healthy people. But its contagiousness and consequences for those older than 60, or with underlying medical conditions, appear to be much more serious.
A majority of U.S. deaths from COVID-19 have been connected to people who are elderly or have other chronic medical conditions. A nursing home in Kirkland has seen about 20 deaths from COVID-19, and 59 percent of the state’s 366 diagnosed cases so far are in people 60 and older, and another 13 percent of cases are for people in their 50s.
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