Dr. Mike Obsatz, Professor Emeritus at Macalester College
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I have been hearing about how decisions are being made when there are limited medical supplies such as ventilators. Younger people receive preferential treatment over the elderly. It is assumed that once one is past 70, one has lived a full life and is probably ready to die.
False, unfair and the ultimate sign of ageism.
I know fifty or more vibrant people in their seventies and eighties. They are intelligent, agile, and capable of clear, complex and creative thought.
Here is one example: One man, close to 90, regularly rides the stationery recumbent bike next to mine at the YMCA. The Y is now closed for exercising, so I don't see him very much. However, he would buy low cost epsom salts at Costco for me, and then we would exchange the bags for cash in the Y parking lot. He told the Y staff we had a deal going on in the parking lot, and that he had white powder that I was buying. They chuckled. He calls me when he is going to Costco. We still make that exchange -- except in a different parking lot.
Many of my friends are older, and leading vibrant lives. They are writers, artists, group members, readers, public speakers, volunteers, and excellent communicators. They have made incredible contributions to society and plan on making many more. They are not ready to go. They may be more susceptible to be infected by COVID-19 than others. However, they have had many diverse experiences, and many of them have learned valuable life lessons only time and healthy reflection can provide.
So, in this time of caution and concern, let us remember that all human beings are God's children, worthy of saving and worthy of living.
Love, peace and blessings,