Old Person Does Sad, Old Person Thing

Fully immunized woman dies from COVID-19 in Kitchener long-term care home
This headline, as well as some of the handling of the story itself, are kind of garbage. I’ll explain why in a second, but before I say anything else I want to make it clear that every COVID linked death matters and I’m in no way trying to trivialize someone’s passing here. But with that said, it’s important that we keep things in perspective.

What this headline and others I’ve seen leave out is who it was that died. All we know is that a fully vaccinated woman somehow involved with a long-term care home has expired. Was it a young, otherwise healthy staff member? Has every possible test failed to come up with another reason why a sudden death may have occurred?

NO.

Start reading and you come to find out that the unfortunate person was in her 90s. All of a sudden, it’s much less of a story. It’s still worth covering, but it’s absolutely not worth the breaking news alert that the Record sent out or the two straight days of live reports from the scene that CTV Kitchener did.

The healthiest 90-year-old you know is still 90 years old. That’s an age that many of us will never reach. A 90-year-old’s fortunes can change on a dime, sometimes literally if they slip on one someone dropped and wind up breaking a hip. I’ve seen it happen. One day you’re having a lovely conversation and the next thing you know, you’re saying your goodbyes. I’ve experienced too much death in my life to be shocked that an old person lost a match to father time, immunized or not.

I understand that news outlets rely on ad dollars to keep running. So do we. But are a few clicks or TV ratings points really worth the risk of possibly harming the vaccine effort? So many people don’t bother with the details. They see what they want to see and they run with it. Maybe they would anyway, but why make it easy for them? It’s much better (not to mention more honest) to be clear about what’s going on from the start and cover things proportionally to their severity.

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