by Emory Gun ’22
Much of the focus during the Covid-19 pandemic has been on schools and jobs, but what about the most vulnerable demographic of the elderly? Proper attention has not been placed on the mental health of elderly people. Instead, while their safety has been a priority, their loneliness has been overlooked. Many elderly people are alone and isolated during this pandemic and can’t even go outside for the fear of contracting Covid-19.
“It is a terrible irony of the virus: that for older adults, steps to prevent the spread of Covid-19 increase the risks of social isolation, which carries its own devastating health effects,” according to John Leland of the New York Times.
As one gets older, one’s immune system weakens over time and one becomes more likely to have pre-existing conditions. This in turn heightens the need to isolate to avoid becoming infected by the virus. As a result, during the pandemic crisis, the elderly (age 75 plus) have been the group most isolated.
Even worse, older people tend to not know how to use technology efficiently, which leaves them further disconnected to the outside world. On the chance that an elderly person does know how to use a form of technology, it is important that they connect with loved ones. Doing our best to keep in touch and social is crucial during these isolated and uncertain (not to mention bizarre) times that we live in. Talking with other people on a daily basis gives a person as much normalcy as possible. On the other hand, if you know an elderly person that does not know how to use technology, make them a meal and drop it off, write letters, or visit from a safe distance.
Now is the time to step up, and be there for one another. Supporting and having compassion for each other is the only way we will make it through this pandemic. So get off of your Tik Tok, Instagram, Snapchat, or any other time waster and go call, facetime, or write to your grandparents.