In his Aug. 15 letter to the editor, Tyler Peterson said he could not find COVID-19 deaths by age on the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) website. Two months ago, I inquired with MDH about their recent removal of median age COVID-19 deaths, an epidemiological standard, yet received no response. However, I did find a link to an MDH weekly COVID-19 newsletter that includes both.

The Aug. 13 report, page 20, indicates zero COVID-19 related deaths out of an estimated 1,085,925 Minnesota young people ages 5-19 (20% of the state's population). On the flip side of that question, the median age of COVID-19 related deaths is 83. That answers that.

Tyler also asks why no one is talking about this. I also wondered why no one is talking about COVID-19 deaths and End of Life Advanced Directives. I expect inordinately more ICU cases than deaths, which is so with people ages 6-29 (24 to 1), but ages 70 and over, it's backward with 2.3 times more deaths (1,148), than ICU cases (498). We are at only 48% ICU capacity and 11% ventilator capacity. Shouldn't these near-death cases be in ICU? With 1,685 COVID-19 related deaths in Minnesota, is it possible that up to 39% of these deaths are premature due to pre-ordained, self-imposed directives (no ICU, no ventilator, etc.)? If so, that would be a relief to many and may lower the panic level for some.

The MDH weekly COVID-19 is a good read for those interested in the topic. As the discussion continues, let's be inclusive, welcoming voices of all kinds, while refraining from shaming and degrading others. Flavored with civility, let the evidence direct our discussion.

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