It’s interesting in life how you have an idea that you think will take you in one direction and then it leads you to a completely different place.
I posted an article in a recent edition of Rye News about a blog I had set up for grandmothers to share ideas for ways to communicate with grandchildren during the lock down (nanasblog.co.uk). After it had been live for a few weeks, I was surprised to be approached by the BBC Radio 4 who asked if I would take part in a feature on how people of 70+ were feeling about the prospect of lockdown being extended.
The media thankfully seems to be waking up to the fact that reaching the age of 70 doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be categorised, or indeed made to see yourself, as “old and vulnerable”.
For those of us who have reached that milestone, but feel physically fit, the casual comments from scientists about keeping all over 70s in lock down until a vaccine is found next year, are alarming and in my view discriminatory.
It’s important to protect people with underlying health issues, but is it necessary to lock away anyone who simply happens to reach a particular number when research has shown that chronological age is different from biological age?
I was called by the journalist for an initial discussion and then he recorded an interview on WhatsApp the next day. He wanted to understand how people were feeling about the prospect of a longer lockdown and the impact that not seeing family and friends might have.
Living the dream ?
This situation may in fact have divided the generations as those with families who are struggling to juggle work, home schooling and childcare, may feel that older people in lockdown with no pressures are living the dream!
In many ways those with a pension and in good health probably are compared to the struggles of many, but it is nevertheless an open ended lack of freedom.
David Blunkett has now got involved in taking up the cause which will hopefully give the 70+ group a voice, but I feel that the questions raised are ones that all of us should be discussing together. Rye has many residents aged 70+ so Rye News is a good place to get that conversation started.
Let Rye News have your views
Questions to consider may be:
How long would you be prepared to stay in lockdown?
Do you think everyone over 70, regardless of health, should be lumped together and made to stay at home for a very long period?
Should we have a choice based on facts, or is that being selfish?
Do you feel that the over 70s have a voice, and are being listened to by government?
Would you like to see more evidence against the risk of Covid, weighed up against the risk of other illnesses connected with age – for example cancer operations, and annual checks that have been postponed?
Would you be prepared to break the rules? If so under which conditions?
Image Credits: Rye News library .