“Reality Hits”

70isthenew50My generation of Americans, born just after World War II, has been aging averse as long as I can remember. Only adults as smug as many of us are could come up with the phrase “70 is the new 50.” But as the coronavirus spreads around the world, it becomes clear that thinking doesn’t make it so when it comes to age and disease. In the current health crisis, 70 is not the new 50 at all. In fact, 70 is 5-10 years into the category our Centers for Disease Control consider high risk of complications and death from the virus.

At first I took this caution to refer to people my age with underlying health issues such as diabetes, health struggles and COPD. My doctor disabused me of this belief in a chat I had with him last week. While it is true, he said, that the risk is higher for those with underlying issues, healthy people my age are still at greater risk. Apparently our immune system weakens with age, healthy habits or no.

At church Sunday I found many of my friends also having to adjust to the reality that we are those designated as “elderly,” “old” and “at greater risk.” Our church has recognized the risks and has already altered many time honored practices. In time we may have to stay home.

Sadly, the head of our nation, also one of my generation, has been constantly spewing lies about risks and containment. Because very few U.S. citizens have been tested, our numbers look very low. Once wider testing begins, it will become obvious that any time for containment passed many weeks ago. People without any known exposure are becoming ill across the nation.

I am adjusting to this new reality. I am an older adult. I need to be extra cautious, avoiding going places, scrupulously washing my hands, staying away from anyone with a bug. I would rather be 50, but I am not!

35 thoughts on ““Reality Hits”

  1. I keep trying to remind my mom that she is in the high risk group, and should think twice about some of her outings, but I don’t think she believes me. Next step, put Cricket on the job. If nothing else, my determined Cockapoo will make sure there is adequate “social distancing” between her Grandma and everyone else.

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  2. I was feeling snug for the same reasons you did. Then son reminded me I still have a little cough left from a head cold that started on New Year’s Eve. I’m more vulnerable than I realized.

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  3. When I attended church yesterday, people were no longer shaking hands or hugging. It felt so strange to just wave at fellow parishioners during the sign of peace greeting.

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  4. I wonder, what would be in the 60s like? Like you, I also experience joint pains and I have a maintenance medication for high blood and diabetes. Stay healthy Elizabeth 🙂

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  5. I am also very worried, Elizabeth. I am sure the numbers in South Africa are far higher than what we are being told as we don’t have the test kits in most places here. Our people live in squatter camps and others live in overcrowded accommodation where they share facilities and rooms even. There will be no isolation here. My mom is 81 my dad 70, my aunt 86, our granny 97 and my MIL 73. My son, Michael, has no natural immune system and suffers from asthma. It is very scary. Stay safe dear friend.

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  6. Best wishes to you and to all. I’d rather be about 30, but even then my health was poor. I looked better though and sometimes that’s what counts for me! Having been dead three times takes the pressure and unknown off of me, I have to say, and makes me less nervous about passing again.

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  7. Covid-19 is more contagious than normal influenzas but precautions are necessary every winter. I am rolling my eyes at those stock piling toilet paper (Australia!!) and groceries; that just removes necessary items from those who can’t afford to binge buy. Keep well, wash often and be happy, my friend 🙂

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  8. This is definitely a wake up call for those of us who are fit and used to feeling “young for our age.” When I hit that 7-0 in September it really sent me for a loop. I could no longer deny that I was “old.”
    But, I wouldn’t trade where I am now for a younger me!

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  9. Yes I agree Elizabeth, we need to take precautions in these times, we too are taking needed steps here in Australia. Although we can’t work out the panic over toilet paper! That’s a new one for Australia!
    We are gobsmacked at this…But this too will pass!
    Bless you,
    Jennifer

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