What if…

Asian kids
American kids

What if COVID-19 threatened the lives of the young rather than the elderly? What if it were children who bore the mortal brunt of this pandemic? What then would be our feelings toward wearing a simple cotton mask? Or social distancing? Or chucking our children back into closed-space classrooms? 

I have recently viewed pictures of university students massed together, drinking, laughing, dancing, having the time of their life in the midst of a pandemic. They know their chances of dying from Corona Virus are slim. While at the same time, adults in the 40, and 50 age range gather at a church to set up outdoor platforms for a Sunday service, and not of them is wearing a mask. Not one. I have seen this. Only a few days ago, I found myself waiting for a traffic light to turn green. While waiting, I turned to see a family of five, two adults herding three children into a restaurant–none of them wearing a mask. 

Who are those 200,000 American dead? They are, mostly, the elderly who had underlying conditions, or not. How did they contract COVID 19? Many contracted the disease when they refused, for whatever reason, to wear a mask in public. But then how many simply got the virus from another person, a close friend visiting, a family member coming home from work, a son or daughter home from school, public and/or university? 

I haven’t seen much on this idea of agism in America. We all know it exists, and we all know that, generally speaking, Americans don’t revere the elderly. We worship youth. Well, that’s my thought experiment. What if it were youth who became mortally ill as a result of COVID-19? I think it would be a vastly different picture than the one we see now. And NOT “rightly so.” 

I think we need to move away from MAGA and simply examine how the young and middle aged Americans really feel about the elderly. I doubt if that many people agree with Bill O’Reilly who in a radio interview with Sean Hannity in April 2020, rationalized that the death rates were low and many of the victims were “on their last legs anyway.” No, I don’t think so, but I wonder what is the prevailing attitude toward the 65+ group?

We know, without question, that if it were children dying, we would all wear masks. We would all social distance, and to the best of our ability keep our children out of harm’s way. But too many Americans, regardless of party affiliation, do not show the same reverence of life toward the elderly. I think this is an issue that will emerge out of this disaster. 

What are your thoughts? 

p.s. the pictures above are: 1. Children I met in Japan, two years ago. And 2. Children I bussed from school to an after-school program here in Decatur, one year ago.

9 thoughts on “What if…

    1. Paul Post author

      I agree. Here in the south, we’re experiencing a early fall season. I love these cool mornings, but I fear it will bring on the flu season sooner than expected. Thank you Derrick, take care.

      Liked by 2 people

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  1. daleydowning

    There definitely is this view that the elderly are either a burden or just in the way. America is not set up to properly care for citizens over the age of 75 – just the other day I was thinking how in my town I’m seeing an alarming number of people at least 80 years old still driving – I couldn’t help but wonder WHY THE HELL anyone would allow their parent/grandparent etc. to be in the situation of even needing to drive themselves anywhere at this point, anyway (especially after the third time in a week I almost got rear-ended or side-swiped by one of them). And it occurred to me – probably these people don’t have anyone to drive them to places, as their children and grandchildren have likely moved away, to go chase “the American dream” – which prioritizes money and status over family. It’s something I can’t stand about this nation. You’re right in that, if children were dying, people would be a lot more concerned.

    The behavior regarding masks comes straight from evangelical Christianity proclaiming anyone who’s “saved” has nothing to fear from earthly diseases. That position needs to be declared a hate crime now, just as much as racially motivated homicides.

    Take care of yourself, Paul.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Paul Post author

      Totally agree on every point. Sadako and I walked our black Lab, Cody, at a park this morning, just an hour ago and not one person, players and spectators, was wearing a mask. It’s beyond absurd. And oh yes, they are all believers in the Word.

      Thank you, Daley, for your thoughtful reply and kind words! You take care as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. daleydowning

        I’m of the mindset that if Jesus preached, “Love your neighbor,” he also would’ve preached, “Wear a mask to stop from accidentally killing your neighbor during a pandemic.” Churches in the Northeast have been amazing at adapting their services, either to all virtual, or to parking lots, or to socially distanced pews with plenty of windows open. None of them are screaming about their “religious freedoms being taken away.”

        Hope your thoughts about taking your wife and dog and fleeing can come to fruition soon.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Cheryl

    Being in the healthcare field and over 60, my husband 72, I am constantly wondering how medical doctors manage to balance their need to be faithful to the conservatism views, which historically have worked in favor of their financial interests and this virus which, if youth would have its way ( as a specific segment) the elderly will just die off. The elderly, who comprise likely the largest percentage of medicine’s wealth. There is no true intellect at work here. The mass collective has taken the easy road, succumbing to conspiracy theory, dogma and anything that lets them off The hook. No responsibility, no guilt, no one to scold…or to reach or to bail them out when they get overwhelmed. Instead of living for the moment, the selfish have decided to live FOR the moment and to hell with anyone’s future.
    As for logic in when children’s lives matter, consider the anti-abortion ‘theorists’ that it is a sin to kill an unborn child. Yet millions of children go hungry and die daily, too many die at the hands of their abusive families, often even after Social Services have been alerted. These ‘caring’ people turn their heads and look away because it isn’t their child.
    I understood the wave of the future in 2017 when the smiling twenty something Macy’s clerk told me that ‘they’ were just waiting for us old people to die off so they could go completely paperless. She said it laughing, as though she had no real concept of death or loss. No conscience. We have four sons who would die for us and for this we are thankful. They all had plans to visit us when Covid first hit hard but all cancelled and are staying home except for work. I pray for them each day as I put on my mask and brace for possible exposure in the clinic. All because people are selfish and foolish.Those who follow Trump do so because he says what they want to hear and he says ehat he thinks they want to hear. It is symbiotic.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Paul Post author

      Thank you so much for this thoughtful and insightful response. I’ll turn 72 in December and I have to admit I am still stunned by the sheer depth of meaness and cruelty, citizens of this country can exhibit. I no longer believe the great conflict is between Democrat and Republican or Conservative and Liberal. The Great Divide in this country is between the decent and the indecent, with many of our young falling into the second category, which strongly suggests that loving families such as yours are no longer the norm.

      Thank you again, Cheryl.

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