Briefing paper

The Grim Reaper? Coronavirus and the elderly in Australia and the United States

COVID-19 Infectious diseases Pandemics Disease management Aged care Healthy ageing United States of America Australia

The COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world brings more than illness, death and economic chaos; it brings existential and ethical dilemmas about how to provide care for the elderly who are most at risk of contracting the virus and who are dying as a consequence. The grim reality is that for the elderly, the novel coronavirus is 'an almost perfect killing machine.'

This brief provides a look at how the United States and Australia are dealing with these critical issues.

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