The Old Coot sounds the alarm

It might be a little early to air this concern, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A lesson the world learned the hard way, dealing with the coronavirus. 

Now that we’re deep into the process, some alarm bells have begun to go off in my head. This is a little out there, but much of what I opine about is with a tongue in cheek, as is this. 

It started with good intentions; everyone was asked to avoid exposing the virus to the elderly population. “Anyone over sixty-five is more susceptible to contracting the virus and more likely to have a hard time if they do.” All well and good! 

So what am I complaining about? It’s what comes next, after the pandemic is history and society has learned how easy it is to herd my crowd into isolation. “For our own good!”  

The media has been at it for a long time, insinuating that we are unable to withstand any difficult situation: hot weather, cold weather, flu season, phone scams, you name it. They portray us as too weak and too stupid to deal with everyday life. 

Now this new threat comes along and the “old people” card has been played with vigor. When it’s over, new warnings will be aired – “It’s foggy this morning; people over 65 should stay in place.” Or, “It’s going to be hot this afternoon; old coots are ordered not to leave their homes.” 

No matter what goes on, it will be used as an excuse to keep old coots away from mainstream society. That’s my worry. 

Society will see this as an opportunity to remove old coots from their midst, to stop our criticism of how things are done today versus how they were back in the “good old days.” 

We won’t be allowed to stagger around at art shows, sip wine at tastings, clog up the lines at coffee and donut shops, or spoil the view at public beaches. Restaurant owners would love an excuse to end those early bird specials and to stop elderly couples from taking up space, splitting meals and cutting into profits. 

And, you can forget about that six-foot separation rule. It will be increased to eleven feet for seniors, in keeping with that old cliché, “I wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole.” We’re the IT! 

Am I paranoid? Probably. Am I right? Could be. Will my crowd be herded onto the proverbial ice floes like elderly Eskimos once were, doomed to succumb to the cold? Well, no! We’re protected from that fate; we’re not allowed to go out in the cold.

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