‘To Our Leaders’ advertisement


Sir, – The advertisement “To Our Leaders” carried in your newspaper on Thursday (October 15th) states what we know already, that the majority of Covid-19 deaths have occurred in older people.

Despite the “facts” presented, it fails to acknowledge the fact that the lower than anticipated mortality in all age groups relates to the public-health preventive measures that were taken to protect us all and prevent our under-resourced acute hospital system and intensive-care units being catastrophically overwhelmed.

The advert seems to suggest that because most Covid-19 deaths occurred in older people, this is of less significance.

However, a recent UK study has estimated that after adjusting for the number and type of long-term conditions, the average years lost when a person with Covid-19 dies was 13 years for men and 11 years for women.

There are uncertainties around these estimates, and more time will be needed for us to know the extent of excess mortality that can be attributed to Covid-19.

In the meantime, we can only do our best to protect each other by following expert guidance on prevention and control of Covid-19. – Yours, etc,


Professor of Primary

Care Medicine,

Royal College of Surgeons

in Ireland,

Dublin 2.