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Age-restriction of interaction for well-being

When a driver could be at risk from age and health, their licence application is carefully screened. We don’t slow down all the traffic to make it safe for them.
If 92% of road deaths were aged 60+, would it be more logical to stop drivers aged 60+ from driving, or reduce traffic by restricting everyone’s social and economic interaction? To March 30th 2020 92% of World deaths from COVID-19 were 60+. Social restriction of 65+ would enable 65- to have a life, economic recovery and the community to pay for the panic.


Suppose an imaginary country has 92% of road deaths aged 60+. To March 30th 2020 92% of World deaths from COVID-19 were 60+. Would they close the highway to all traffic? (Shut down the economy). Or would they restrict maximum speed of drivers of all ages? (Social distancing). Or would some age-specific control be desirable, e.g. driver licensing age restrictions on 60+? (Restricted by quarantine, some of the 60+ group would die of non-traffic causes anyway. In Australia in 2018, 87.5% of all deaths were 60+).

Considering only 8% of people who die are 60-, equal speed restriction on all ages might be unfair to younger drivers. Could driver licensing exclude those incapable of looking after themselves in accident situations, as well as those causing others to have accidents. There could be a speed limit for 60+.

The COVID -19 corollary is that in the 60+ age group, anyone unwilling to isolate or socially distance voluntarily, could have to pass a health and fitness test. Alternatively there could be mandatory restrictions on 60+ years.

60+ people who want more protection could restrict themselves voluntarily. For example, if it was known to be foolish for an elderly person to enter a shopping crowd, they would have a choice, like waiting for a gap in traffic before crossing the road.

My comments do not oppose current restrictions. When restrictions come up for renewal, could a return to voluntarism be considered? Any restriction could be by age. This could restore social, economic and education opportunities to 60- people who are hurting.


Normally, with say influenza, the public takes responsibility for vaccinations, seeking diagnosis, treatment, self-distancing and isolation. When there is a dangerous infectious disease like COVID-19, because the public is unable to recognise infected people and avoid dangerous contact, they expect to be protected, with infected people separated and treated. Voluntary control is displaced by public authority.

When a large part of the population is not very vulnerable, for example only 8% of worldwide COVID-19 deaths to March 30th were people aged under 60 years, the social and economic costs from restrictions to young people’s education and careers should be weighed against the small probability of significant health benefits when restrictions are being considered for renewal. If under 60s act as vectors in transmitting the disease to the vulnerable 92% of over 60s, the latter might not regard their own voluntary social distancing and self-isolation as sufficient to protect them. The calculation of what age groups to compulsorily restrict would require more transmission data than I have available. Authorities have usually imposed the same restrictions whatever are peoples’ ages.



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