THE death of a schoolgirl and the survival of a centenarian in Europe have shown that Covid-19 is not something that is an automatic death sentence for the elderly while sparing the young. The Belgian authorities have announced that a 12-year-old girl died this week after testing positive for Covid-19, quickly developing a high fever and tragically passing away three days later. No further details were released, including whether she had a pre-existing condition. The fatality adds to the small but significant death toll of children across Europe including a 14-year-old- boy in Portugal and 16-year-old schoolgirl in France. Neither was believed to have any pre-existing conditions that were known about.
At the other end of the age scale, 102-year-old Italian Great Gran Italica Grondona has been pronounced clear of the virus after a lengthy hospital stay, making her Europe’s oldest known survivor. Coincidentally in the same town where Ms Grondona is from a six month old infant, Leonardo, has been released after a 50 day battle with Covid-19 which at times he looked like he may lose. Ms Grondona would have been about the same age as Leonardo during the last great virus to hit Europe, the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918.