It’s my birthday! I’m 75 – I’m officially OLD!
If I was in a Dickens novel I’d be wearing a lace cap and pontificating about changing times.
If I was in a fairy story I might have a pointy hat and be luring children into my ginger bread cottage. Or being wickedly exploited by the Big Bad Wolf.
In Neolithic times I’d be such a rare phenomenon I’d be Queen of the Caves and someone would make a carved goddess of my chubby self. Respect!
But now there’s quite a few of us and we’re angry.
We’ve come off worst out of this pandemic. Britain wasn’t the best for life expectancy but as a woman I could expect another seven or so years of life, perhaps in a care home as the joints deteriorate, or the brain cells get lazy.
Now care homes have been the most dangerous places to be for the old and infirm. We’re the most susceptible to covid 19 and we’ve been offered up to the god of “herd immunity”.
An idea that Boris Johnson floated – but didn’t commit to – was that we should “take it on the chin!” Well loads of people in care homes have had to do just that. In one care home in Thanet seventeen people died of the virus.
People were sent out of hospital without testing to be looked after in care homes so short of PPE the local community had to get out their sewing machines to make face masks. The local group, Thanet Facemasks, has now produced more than 10,000 for care homes and other key workers. We all stumped up our cotton sheets and unused fabric to help out.
But what a scandal! Sending elderly people to places full of other vulnerable people where the virus thought Christmas had come.
Now we’re being told that our pensions may effectively be cut back to help pay for the economic disaster of the pandemic. Do you know how much the state pension is? It’s among the lowest in Europe.
Well I have news for the Chancellor: Rishi, your government failed to cull us completely in the pandemic and we’re not putting up with this marginalisation any more.
I risked infection last week to go and join the Black Lives Matter demonstration when it reached Broadstairs. I wore my surgical mask and took a chair as my knees won’t take “taking the knee” any more. I took a seat, well away from my fellow oldies at the back of the gathering.
It was an enormously impressive emotional experience to see all those people following their consciences to defend the rights of all those in their community who have been marginalised for generations.
Now let’s start an OLD LIVES movement. We’re your grandparents and we’re angry. GIVE ME BACK MY SEVEN YEARS!