Well, here are two old people with a very old dog……all on COVID time.
I was feeling ‘expendable’ and saw this art
The U.S. is an ageist society and COVID 19 magnifies it for me by emphasizing the ‘decline narrative of aging’! I haven’t listened to the one-hour podcast at the end of the article but will do so.
As many of you know, I am over 65 and a cancer survivor. The cancer I had, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, even treated, puts me at a higher risk of an adverse outcome from COVID. One of the chemo drugs I was on is toxic to the heart and I get a yearly ECHO to keep an eye on it. I am 4 + years out from diagnosis and in remission.
Even with that history, I am active, engaged and feel fine. I want to make the most of the time I have while feeling good to travel, see friends and family and stay active. There seems to be no phase of this pandemic, short of a vaccine, that will allow me to do that. And I don’t like feeling ‘walled off’ for the foreseeable future.
I am not overly optimistic about a vaccine soon. I haven’t taken a deep dive into this, but it is likely that the coronavirus is a zoonotic disease (from an animal), meaning that it really can’t be eradicated, only controlled through the current public health measures and a vaccine.
When I step on my soapbox, I have a tough time when people aren’t wearing masks or social distancing. C’mon people, there is still a pandemic and these simple measures do save lives! If everyone did those two things, people like me (and others with chronic conditions regardless of age and front-line workers) could move around with some small degree of freedom and safety (and I am allowed one weekly trip to the grocery store)! But masks and social distancing are rarely happening and, to me, that reinforces the us vs. them mentality where I may be seen as ‘weak and expendable’.
In the near future, I don’t see travel, spending real time with friends and family and doing something as simple as going to a movie on a rainy day in the cards for me. And I don’t have that many more shopping days until Christmas!
So, let’s behave like we are all in this together and keep everyone safer by practicing physical distancing and wearing a mask.