by Reg Green
The build-up to the new year seems to me to have been even more subdued than in the last year or two. It’s that damn’ Covid, which won’t give up. As somebody said, at least the Grim Reaper gives his personal attention to each individual. Covid gathers in its crop like a combine harvester.
I have always been disturbed, from the start, by the warblings of those that insist that “only the older people” are vulnerable to covid-19 (and indeed from age 50 onward your risk of dying, if you catch covid-19, approximately doubles with each decade), and that therefore, there’s really nothing to get that concerned about and no very extraordinary measures need to be taken to limit transmission. It’s as if old folks don’t really matter. So long as it’s only the over-50s/ over-60s/over-70s/ 80+ folks suddenly dying off in large numbers … well, they’re OLD so they’re SUPPOSED to hurry up and die…. No-one seems to be stopping to reflect that many of those older folks who have died of covid-19 are people who would have put in another five, ten, twenty, thirty years of active social input, had they NOT got covid-19. A LOT of organisations including churches depend on volunteer labour – and wisdom – supplied by retirees: people aged 65-85 (yes, in my parish church there are many very active and involved people in their 70s and 80s). Take away too many of those older volunteers across the western world all of a sudden – thousands of them in the space of a couple of years – and there is a major problem. Further: a disease that cuts a rapid swathe through the (otherwise relatively-healthy) elderly, ensures that a great many children across the world now are growing up without the grandparents, and the great-grandparents, the great-aunties and uncles – the “tribal elders” – that they would otherwise have had for five, ten, twenty years. There are many parents who are now parenting without the backup supplied by grandparents; that will have a significant impact, not only in the ‘third world’ but in the ‘first world”. A lot of embodied wisdom and living family and community memory is being swept away all at once. Maybe some can contemplate that with equanimity; I can’t.
Hi, I think pointing out the increasing COVID risk with aging is important, because it helps us to focus on protecting those most vulnerable to a fatal outcome from SARS-COV-19. The Great Barrington Declaration asked health officials to focus their efforts on prevention (vaccination) and isolation practices for persons who need protection most.