Why Covid contradictions and lumping together ‘the elderly’ are not welcome - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Bridget Duncan, Pontefract.

Visitors to Bradford city centre wearing face coverings. photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

THE early BBC news bulletin on Sunday included the following two items.

1. Police have asked the public to stay away from the Forest of Dean today, because of the length of time it is going to take them to clear the large numbers of people in the area who attended an illegal rave in the area on Saturday night.

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2. In the review of the papers ‘A Minister’ (un-named) has said that ‘the elderly’ should be told to stay at home in order that the unlocking of lockdown can be maintained and the new wave of infection of Covid be brought under control.

What is your verdict on Boris Johnson's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic? Photo: PA

Where on earth, I ask, is the logic and justice between those two statements?

I suspect that the number of elderly ‘ravers’ was not huge, I would further argue that in the vast majority of cases ‘the elderly’ are the ones who have been sticking to the guidelines issued by the Government. In many cases to the severe detriment to their mental and physical health, due to isolation, and physical deconditioning.

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We have been here before, towards the start of the Covid restrictions. The elderly are as diverse a cohort as any other in society, and should not be ‘lumped together’ because of chronological age.

Stereotyping of groups is not acceptable in our society for any reason. Imagine the uproar that would be engendered if the ‘stay in’ order was mooted for all BAME people, or all obese people (both, if statistics are to be believed, also more likely to suffer severe consequences if they catch Covid). It would be immense.

The potential alienation of the large group of the population, who are by and large (notice that I don’t say all), compliant with, and supportive of, the Government strategies as we battle this nasty virus, would be entirely unjustifiable and a major error of judgment.

We are indeed, in the much overused word, in ‘unprecedented’ times, and much has still to be learned. Sadly, the horrendous death figures from Covid-19 do not lend confidence that the right guidance has been given, and people are increasingly questioning the measures that are put in place, whether they be to free up, or clamp down again, on the rules we are asked to follow.

Leaks, late announcements and unguarded comments from those charged with leading us through the Covid situation, do not contribute positively to them earning our respect, confidence and support they so badly need as we move forward.

Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.

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Sincerely. Thank you.

James Mitchinson