Predominantly the older population is affected by a severe course of COVID-19. The mortality of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 above the age of 80 years is up to 54% in international studies. These observations indicate the necessity to highlight the geriatric perspective on this disease. The diagnostics and treatment of COVID-19 do not differ between younger and older patients but atypical symptoms should be expected more frequently in old age. Older subjects show an increased need for rehabilitation after COVID-19. Paradoxically, increasing rehabilitation demands go along with a reduced availability of geriatric rehabilitation options, the latter being a consequence of closure or downsizing of rehabilitation departments during the pandemic. In general, measures of isolation and quarantine should be diligently balanced as the health and emotional consequences of such measures may be severe in older persons. In light of the poor prognosis of older COVID-19 patients, advanced care planning becomes even more relevant. Caregivers and physicians should be encouraged to compose advanced care directives that also reflect the specific circumstances of COVID-19. Fortunately, current data suggest that the effectiveness of the vaccination with the mRNA-vaccines approved in Germany may be equally high in older compared to younger persons.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Germany , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
BACKGROUND: The corona crisis not only affects professional activities but also teaching and learning at universities. Buzzwords, such as elearning and digitalization suggest the possibility of innovative teaching approaches that are readily available to solve the problems of teaching in the current COVID-19 pandemic. The current conversion to digital teaching is not primarily driven by didactic rationale or institutional strategy but by external circumstances. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to determine the teaching situation at national university ENT clinics and academic teaching hospitals at the start of the virtual corona summer semester in 2020. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A specifically self-designed questionnaire regarding the local situation and conditions as well as nationwide scenarios was sent to all 39 national university ENT clinics and 20 ENT departments at academic teaching hospitals. RESULTS: A total of 31 university hospitals and 10 academic teaching hospitals took part in the survey. There were obvious discrepancies between available resources and effectively available digital teaching and learning contents. Further criticism was expressed regarding the communication with the medical faculty, the digital infrastructure and particularly the frequent lack of collaboration with central support facilities, such as media, didactics and datacenters. CONCLUSION: There are positive examples of successful transformation of classroom teaching to an exclusively virtual summer semester 2020 within the university ENT clinics; however, critical ratings of assistant professors and medical directors regarding the current teaching situation predominated. A time-critical strategic advancement is urgently needed.