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COVID-19 and palliative care

23 April 2020
Volume 29 · Issue 8

The spread of COVID-19 across the globe is causing, and will continue to cause, understandable alarm. As the pandemic continues to ravage nations and the number of deaths continues to rise in the UK, the subject of death and dying is receiving much attention. Often seen as a taboo among some populations, death and dying and COVID-19 have now taken centre stage.

It is too early to make definitive conclusions about how many deaths are occurring due to novel coronavirus and impossible to say with certainty how many people the virus will kill. Caution must be taken in reading too much into figures across the world (mortality rates for countries differ). Issues regarding COVID-19 are evolving quickly, with experts disclosing figures daily (sometimes more often). The published hard data can create mistaken impressions about the underlying facts, even if both the data and the accounts are accurate. Snapshots can be misleading for many reasons and this can skew the data. Amassing data, however, is essential to aid current learning, contribute to research and for prospective learning.

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