For nearly two months, we seniors like most people, have meekly accepted the lockdown. We’ve understood it to be for everybody’s good.
Admittedly, for one thing, we are the most vulnerable age group, our immune system being not what it used to be, etc. But the virus seems now to be victimizing children, even infants, some fatally, while victims of our age are making remarkable recoveries. At this point, I believe we’re all fair, and about equal, game.
For the government to not only extend our lockdown, but to make it total and open-ended, seems discriminatory. Has there been a conclusive study made about this? The more we hear from the government, the more our suspicions are reinforced that our leadership doesn’t really know what it’s doing.
Maybe nobody knows exactly what they’re dealing with here. At any rate, if anyone should know, it would be scientists, medical experts. In this small survey are not only doctors, as happens, but also, doctors who are seniors.
Chita Carandang Wilcox, retired businesswoman
What, lockdown, at my age? I’m being controlled; I don’t like it! After living in Paris for 28 years, I have come back only to lose my freedom? All I want is to leisurely have my coffee in the morning in a nearby shop, read the newspapers and maybe do the crossword puzzle.
Anyway, I’m super kind to the guards and they don’t stop me. And if anybody tries, I’ll speak to them in French! I need to walk outside for some exercise and for some vitamin D from the sun.
But, for now, I will follow the rules. The lockdown on seniors makes sense . . . since there’s not enough testing kits, hospitals are crowded and understaffed, and we are most vulnerable. Also, in this heat wave, I’ll stay home and just enjoy the view from my balcony—blue skies, white clouds, high-rises standing stark clear because there’s no pollution.
Dr. Chit Reodica, former health secretary
It’s a question of benefit versus risks, self-esteem versus reality. While there are many seniors gainfully employed and productive, the fact remains that they are in the most vulnerable age group, with a compromised immune system due not only to age but possibly other health problems—diabetes, hypertension, heart and kidney diseases.
They are very susceptible to pneumonia and other lung diseases, like pneumonitis. When they go to work or meetings or social gatherings, there is no guarantee they will not be exposed to coronavirus carriers (in elevators, public toilets, conference rooms). Official health statistics show that COVID-19 (new coronavirus disease) patients are predominantly seniors.
Until we have more test kits available, we have to stay home or work from home. Let us look at this lockdown as protection, not discrimination.
Annabel Wisniewski, chair/founder, Raintree Hospitality Group
The most “vulnerable” is probably the most overlooked age group in this pandemic. It’s like being put out to pasture without considering the many who are still able and capable of contributing positively to society. Suddenly our wings are clipped; we are disabled before our time. The negative effects are not only physical, but emotional, mental and psychological.
Plus, I believe it would be a significant loss to society in general: It’s missing out on the wisdom and experience of seniors.
Age should not be the only consideration for seniors. Professional contributions, active leadership or participation in socioeconomic undertakings, health conditions other than those generally defined by age—these, among others, should count.
Guidelines should be applied with enough flexibility. Seniors normally have developed a strong enough sense of responsibility in the workplace and in the general environment to know or at least be aware of the risks to themselves.
Rita Ledesma, freelance writer
After 82 years of failed and fulfilled dreams, I have learned that the only way to live is by enhancing my inner life.
Will the lockdown end or be extended indefinitely? It doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that my journey to the Light be peaceful, stable and beautiful. And that goal, I can achieve.
Chona Reloza, pediatrician
We are all aware that older people, once stricken, are at a greater risk of not surviving COVID-19. The simple reason is that a great majority of them have other diseases (comorbidities)—diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases, to name a few. In addition, this age group may have compromised immune system for a variety of reasons. Thus, the lockdown is a way of avoiding unnecessary exposure to individuals who may be harboring the virus (asymptomatic).
But to extend it indefinitely for this group may not be the answer. Older people derive immense benefit from interaction with friends and some physical activity (exercise) that can strengthen their immune systems and stimulate their mental and emotional state.
The answer would be to allow limited activities (no large gatherings) but not to disallow them completely.
Let us give them prudent options. They are, after all, the generation that has survived a long past. Let’s trust them to do what is best for themselves.
I’ve just turned 60, and suddenly things are even worse for me. I can’t go anywhere. It’s like house arrest. What was the premise for excluding me from going to the supermarket and back to work? Everything is delivered to me now. The lines are so long in the grocery because of social distancing.
I live alone and I have businesses to run. There’s no one else with me except my electronic gadgets. They’re my only connection to the outside world and source of news and entertainment, and lately also medical advice, though only on simple matters.
In this setup I have to imagine the virus everywhere, and I disinfect just about everything, including myself. I’m living in fear, but safe.
I’m also getting an overload of conflicting information, about what to do when it comes to this virus. If I were not a daily meditator I’d probably be overwhelmed, confused and angry.
One thing I know: My life is real and I am grateful for it. I cherish my freedom and will not surrender it for anything. Lastly, I suggest we quarantine the sick and not the healthy.