How Would You Prefer To Spend Your Last Holiday Season?
Depending on where you live, COVID-19 rules could be putting a damper on holiday festivities this year. California, for example, recently released a long list of killjoy rules for the holidays, which includes:1
At What Price Safety?
Should government be permitted to micromanage how and with whom you spend your holidays? As noted by A.J. Kay in a recent Medium article,2 “If safety requires us to indefinitely forfeit the most valuable parts of our lives, what exactly are we trying to save?”
That’s a question well worth asking. Just how great a price are you willing to pay for the illusion of safety? SARS-CoV-2 has a survival rate of 99.99% for those under the age of 40.3 Even people over the age of 60 who aren’t residents of nursing homes have a survival rate of 98.29%.4
Data5,6 also show the overall all-cause mortality has remained steady during 2020 and doesn’t veer from the norm — in other words, COVID-19 has not killed off more of the population than would have died in any given year anyway — yet residents in many areas are now told, in great detail, how they can and cannot celebrate their holidays. Is it worth it?
“This will be the final Thanksgiving for 2.8 million (the annual all-cause death toll) of our fellow Americans. It could be my last — or yours. That likelihood is significantly higher for our elderly loved ones, too many of whom will not have seen or hugged their family in nine months,” Kay writes.7
“The hard truth is that we do not know who will be around for Thanksgiving next November. What we do have is right now — this moment — today. We aren’t promised one second more …
We’ve already forgone countless once-in-a-lifetime events to mitigate a newly-minted definition of risk which takes only one variable into account. And have neglected to acknowledge that many of our seniors — the most vulnerable among us — don’t even want that kind of ‘safety’ because it costs precious moments with their families …
There’s only one ‘unsafe’ version of Thanksgiving for me and that’s failing to be present with my family, allowing weaponized shame and performative restrictions to keep us apart. God forbid one of us isn’t sitting at that table next year, I can’t imagine grappling with that regret. And if one (or all) of us get COVID, so be it.”
Isolation — A Fate Worse Than Death?
As reported by the Daily News,8 October 19, 2020, forced isolation due to COVID-19 concerns are hurting seniors who struggle with loneliness and depression at ever greater numbers.
The article features the story of Lezrette Hutchinson, a 64-year-old retiree in the West Bronx who in recent days is starting to find herself “heading to bed as early as 5 p.m., exhausted from a host of mounting frustrations,” such as “technological hurdles that came with virtual doctor visits” and “navigating the Social Security website.”
She’s also frustrated from “being alone in a one-bedroom apartment for the better part of seven months.” She’s grown sick and tired of talking to friends on the phone and feels demotivated to do much of anything, which is a hallmark sign of depression.
According to a report9,10 by the AARP and United Health Foundation, social distancing measures have led to an epidemic of loneliness, and this too has significant health and emotional risks. As noted in this report:11
“Defined as having few social relationships or infrequent social contact with others — social isolation is a public health crisis. Studies have found that social isolation can be worse for one’s health than obesity, and the health risks of prolonged isolation are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.12
For adults who have experienced social isolation during the current pandemic, half (50%) report this social isolation has caused them to lack motivation, slightly more than 4 in 10 (41%) say it has made them feel more anxious than usual and slightly more than a third (37%) report it has made them feel depressed.
Yet, only 11% of adults turned to a medical professional when feeling down or sad, and almost a third of adults 50 reported that they did not look to anyone for support during the pandemic.
Among the 50 , almost a third of women (29%) report going as long as one to three months not interacting with others outside their home or workplace during the pandemic and are more likely to experience negative emotions than their male counterparts.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, women 50 are more than twice as likely to report feeling overwhelmed (32% vs. 15% of men 50 ), and more women than men 50 report feeling anxious (46% vs. 36% of men 50 ) and stressed (50% vs. 40% of men 50 ).
Along with women 50 , the impact to low-income older adults (defined as those who have a household income less than $40K and are 50 ) has also been greater compared to older adults with high incomes (defined as those who have a household income $75K and are 50 ).
Four in 10 low-income adults 50 report facing challenges accessing various resources during COVID-19, including a fifth who had challenges accessing food and a similar number who had challenges accessing healthcare services.”
No Life Without Human Connection
I wouldn’t be surprised if many people, regardless of their age, would choose companionship over safety from a virus. For argument’s sake, ponder this question.
Which would you choose: Live all alone on an island for the rest of your life, knowing there’s no one around to infect you with COVID-19, or live surrounded by friends and family, knowing you’re taking your chances every time you get
Article from LewRockwell