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Cathy O'Neil

Pandemic Data Could Be Deadly for the Old

Using biased data to allocate resources could perpetuate a high mortality rate.

Don’t write them off.

Don’t write them off.

Photographer: Alvaro Calvo/Getty Images

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought out some ugly truths about modern-day ageism. A combination of the virus’s properties, an overwhelmed health-care system and systematic neglect have taken a brutal toll on the elderly.

Unfortunately, it could get worse — if countries effectively automate ageism by allowing what has happened so far to dictate future decisions about care.