According to the news, Covid is raging through the land again and our wise leaders have suggested that the nation’s over 60s folk, medically an endangered species now, should confine themselves to their homes. Again.
Somehow, this isn’t surprising and so in the interests of safety, we find ourselves reliving the lockdowns of 2020. This version we shall call ‘2020 Two’, because stuck at home, we oldies have to think up creative ways to stay mentally alert whilst effectively reliving the house arrest caused by the global plague and its germy evils.
Being confined indoors again leads to speculation on how we oldies cope during isolation. The mention of the word ‘Covid’ means the anti-vaxxer brigade is immediately on alert when the word ‘vaccine’ is uttered, which is their code word to meltdown on social media.
So, in the interests of medical science and the facts, I have had four Covid jabs plus the industrial strength flu jab, and as an Over 60s citizen, I am following the best medical advice offered by my GP, the Chief Medical Officer and some bloke on YouTube who has a talking dog.
Everyone says that to avoid this wave of Covid, the oldies should stay at home and be even more marginalised from society than we are already.
Locked away in our lounge rooms we soon notice how few of our generation feature in TV commercials. You won’t see some happy retiree promoting the latest car in a TV ad. New car ads are reserved for trendy young things only.
Oldies only feature on TV ads for funeral plans, incontinence underwear or commercials that require a benign grandad or nana presiding over a sumptuous meal to evoke traditional family feasts.
Even without Covid, the retiree generation is pretty much isolated from society these days. It’s sad that it took a plague for the community to take notice of us.
I read in a recent health study that loneliness is causing rapid memory decline among seniors. The American study of over 65s concluded that feeling lonely for a longer duration of time was associated with more rapid memory decline.
So, when you walk into a room and have no idea why you went in there, you can now blame being alone for your dodgy memory. I blame the cat for my memory faults, and I would say so to the cat if I could remember her name.
Staying alert in lockdown seems to be the antidote to memory decline, so we should lobby for better inclusion of seniors in our TV programming.
Reality TV shows ignore the older market – so let’s have a Geriatric Bachelor or Bachelorette set in a retirement home. Or an Over 60s version of Married At First Sight? I’m sure the makers of mobility aids or dentures would spring for some sponsorship money.
There’s a media perception of retirees as frail, seen as wobbly old white-haired farts who must be locked indoors for our own safety. I expect loaves of mouldy bread to be flung over the fence at any time in sympathy to sustain us, lest we roam the streets like some arthritic zombie horde on mobility walkers, demanding more pension money.
But how do we keep ourselves mentally alert in an age where life is dominated by technology designed to confuse anyone over the age of 40?
During the first wave of Covid, it wasn’t safe to go to the supermarket because we might get trampled by the hordes fighting for toilet paper. So, we had to learn about home deliveries for our groceries. Never thought I’d have to mail order cat food. Took a while to sort out the system. I kept ordering more cats.
Two years later, we are in tune with 21st Century technology. We’ve learned how to cope with calls from call centres in another country very close to Pakistan, pretending they are the Microsoft tech section or worse, the NBN, calling to report problems with my computer and offering a nifty solution if I just give them access to my bank account.
Covid house arrest is a marvellous opportunity to resume or take up new hobbies. You’d be amazed at how resilient retirees are at wasting time. Knitting, jigsaws, books, baking, crafts, model aeroplanes, internet browsing…did you know we have become very techno-savvy?
The more adventurous have installed Skype, Zoom and other trendy video call spyware to stay in touch with family and friends.
If you really want to shock the kids, do a daytime video call in your nightie and when they ask, tell them nana and grandad are working on their Only Fans account. It’s something to do while stuck at home hiding from Covid.