There’s no doubt this is a challenging time, impacting us on so many levels. At times it feels like a bad sci-fi film or a dream. But it’s our reality: most of us have already been put out — in small ways for most and for others, more dramatic – by the fast developments of the coronavirus as it wends its way across the world and into our communities.
Every day the cases are growing and we are receiving new advice. But one thing has been clear and unchanging from the get-go: older people are most at risk of death.
Last week, my 91-year-old grandma Emmie called me, confused, from the supermarket. She said there was no toilet paper or the regular meat she buys on the shelves, and asked if I knew what was going on.
Like many older people, she visits the supermarket every few days and buys just enough to carry home in her walker. She’s not on social media and rarely watches the news, so I had to explain people were losing their minds and over-buying in response to COVID-19.
Watch: Mamamia’s The Quicky host Claire Murphy breaks down your most asked questions about COVID-19. Post continues below.
This call made me both angry and disappointed in humanity. I felt angry that as a society, the response of some people to uncertainty is to grab as much as they can, with no thought to anyone else; particularly our most vulnerable people, and especially older people.
What does this say about us? What happened to society taking care of our older generation? What happened to ensuring they are safe, healthy, happy and at the very least, have enough loo paper?
As things have escalated now to self-isolation, I’m less worried about my own health and my son’s than I am about putting Emmie at risk if I do contract the virus. Although our toilet paper and ‘no sex with strangers’ jokes are helping us keep a sense of humour during this time, our days are focused on making sure Em is ok: making sure she has what she needs as she’s now in isolation at home.