Age, ageism and COVID-19
Ageism and age has had a spotlight placed on it because of COVID-19 and not necessarily in the way we would have hoped.
Older people are more at risk of poor outcomes if they contract the COVID-19 virus. This has led to a range of responses in the media and healthcare settings, some of them quite distressing and some of them definitely ageist. Scenes from Italy have been devastating and the words of politicians in the USA have been nothing short of repugnant.
But as Ashton Applewhite, ageism challenger extraordinaire, says:
Age makes you more vulnerable to #COVID19. That’s biology, not bias. But allocating resources by age rather than health status is a potentially lethal form of #ageism.
With the bad, also comes the good and opportunities to do good things. There have been some great community responses to supporting older people in line with our new way of life. Community groups springing up in neighbourhoods, campaigns for #kindness and #frontyarding and generally some wonderful feelgood initiatives. One of the biggest has been the brainchild of Catherine Barrett of Celebrate Ageing, The Kindness Pandemic which now has more than half a million followers. As a result, have sprung up everywhere, spreading happiness and warmth.
Here at The Ageing Revolution, we have been lucky enough to be in touch with older people to talk with them about their concerns when it comes to coronavirus. And we’ve been busy working on ways to get tech into the hands of older people who would like to try using it to stay in touch with their families during the lockdown. Despite working at home, we’re busier than ever and hoping we can maintain our ability to continue.
Our subsequent blog posts will be focused on sharing the wisdom from elders, sharing some great resources on coping with lockdown and things you can do to take action to feel in control and do good.