August 5, 2020

The Editor speaks: The Elderly still don’t count

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Colin Wilson

I’ve already mentioned in a previous Editorial that the elderly are being overlooked in our government’s lockdown measures to try and stop the coronavirus.

I did submit various questions on this subject to be asked at the regular Press Briefings the government have been giving, but none were asked.

Instead, we got a three man verbal assurance at the beginning of the briefing heralding how they all champion the elderly here.

It was heartwarming to hear.

It was actually disheartening that nothing at all was given to lessen the isolation the elderly already had before the the lockdown.

In desperation I asked one of our MLA’s to ask the premier to open up at least some areas of the beaches where the elderly could go to and get out of the prisons that they are subjected to. He said he would.

We have published today an article “COVID-19 targets the elderly. Why don’t our prevention efforts?”. The article was written byDavid Wallace-Wells and first published on the New York Mag website.

The writer is absolutely right. He pointedly says,”… one observation from the early days of the pandemic has been confirmed again and again, in country after country: The lethality of the virus rises sharply with age. In the United States, we have spent much of the last few months enacting and debating uniform, universal public-health measures, which treat each citizen equally for the purposes of applied policy: social-distancing measures; “stay at home” or “shelter in place” guidelines; modified guidelines for essential workers, all 50 million of them; possible testing regimes, including “test, trace, and isolate”; and now a gradual reopening of those measures, typically state by state. Our policy, by and large, has treated every person as equally at risk, but the disease doesn’t treat us all equally. “

Premier Alden McLaughlin alarmingly stated that some of his callers, and he singled out the legal profession, said something like ‘the elderly have had their time and its our time now – open up’.

He rightly condemned this with anger in his voice.

These extreme views saying forget the elderly is not just here. Wallace-Wells goes on to quote various American leaders and media hosts with the same notion, “Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick suggested that plenty of grandparents would happily die to preserve the health of the American economy for the children and grandchildren, later doubling down on the point to suggest “there are more important things than living.”’

The advice given out by community and health leaders everywhere is “stay at home” and “wash your hands”. If they even remember there are elderly or vulnerable persons is, “If you are over 65 and/or have a preexisting condition, you should be more vigilant.”

I leave you with another quote from the article, “….these guidelines are like abstinence-only sex education: It doesn’t give you anything like the information you need to actually succeed at managing your own risk, in part because it’s one-size-fits-all and in part because that size simply won’t fit everybody — or perhaps anybody — in the long run.”

It doesn’t matter. Nothing is going to change. The Elderly still don’t count.

I am elderly. My wife is elderly. And WE DO COUNT!!! EVERYONE OF US COUNTS!!!

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Comments

  1. Chris Johnson says

    You are spot on Colin. I am lucky I can go in my garden and pool. It must be a nightmare living in an apartment. I will say that the banks and supermarkets have been very accommodating to the elderly.
    With miles of beach it is time they were opened up. Keep plugging away.

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