Last week’s article from Dee Alsey seems to have spoken to a lot of people in the over 70s age group, with a few agreeing it’s a good thing to warn this group to stay indoors until a vaccine is found, while others feel unfairly singled out.
The data in general show that apart from children, maybe, the virus is not choosy. It can attack at any age. Unfortunately, yes, a big percentage of elderly deaths have been found in care homes, people well over 70, because often they are in the home with underlying health issues. Also their carers are being ignored in terms of getting proper protection and individuals were sent back from hospital in many cases with no testing until now.
In hospitals, yes, the infections and deaths are frequently from the older age group, but again, they very often suffer with underlying health issues. It would be interesting to know the percentage of the over 70s who went into intensive care units with the infection and died, but were fit and healthy beforehand and had no other illnesses.
What the debate here is about, gleaned from conversations and opinion letters in The Guardian, this and other news papers, is that the over 70s who are fit don’t want to be separated out within society.
Ageism is rife in general but there is no need for it within this pandemic as we are all in it together. It is understood that over 70s and even over 60s with underlying health problems, need to be shielded, and it is clear that the rules are being obeyed by most.
However, there are fit 70+ year-olds working now – as artists, returned nurses and GPs, in hospitals, postmen/women, staff in food shops, and dustmen – all of whom are keeping communities going.
Agreed, it is important for all of us to follow government guidelines, and it has shown results by reducing infections a little – so we need to continue the lockdown and distancing. But Dee asks: “Are you prepared to flout the rules?”.
Surely most individuals will use their own intelligence to work out the risks for themselves and others after listening to the ‘experts’. If shopping can be done (with mask, gloves, and distancing) safely, this would be a good thing, for 65 or 70+.
But, whatever the problems and some people, unfortunately, have more than others in this crisis, we are one society and want to help each other where possible, if we are healthy, independent of our age. And let’s appreciate the beautiful things one can see on the one permitted outing. Nature is thriving, the air is cleaner, and bird song can be heard, which is a joy.
Image Credits: Archie White , Heidi Foster .