On Being Expendable

We sure have fallen fast.  We Americans really are the world’s most impatient people.

We’ve all been self-isolating for what, 10 days?  It’s all a blur but here at my house we have been officially home-bound for exactly one week.  And I’ll be honest with you, it really hasn’t been that awful.  We’re retired so staying home most of the day is our lifestyle.

So, just for the sake of argument let’s say it’s been 10 days.  For 10 days many Americans have been working from home and schools have been closed.  We’re still buying groceries and beer.  We’re still mailing stuff.  We’re still ordering take-out.  And we’re all keeping Jeff Bezos at the top of the food chain.

I am not at all downplaying the extreme effect that Covid 19 is having on the economy.  It has actually kept me awake at night thinking of all the people I know who own small businesses or work for small businesses who are losing their livelihood.  It’s damn scary.  It will be extremely difficult to come back from this the longer it goes on.

But at 10 days in – 10 fucking days – I have found out that anyone over the age of 60 is apparently expendable.  And not only are we expendable but we should happily put our lives on the line as a patriotic gesture to the United States economy.

I am 63.  My spousal equivalent is 70.  We are both ridiculously healthy.  And active.  In June we rode our Yamaha FJR motorcycle almost 11,000 miles in 11 days across America in an event called the Iron Butt Rally.  We usually rode 20 hours a day and slept for 4.  We went through massive downpours (one that almost killed us), ice, snow, and oppressive heat.  We do this for fun.  Try that.  Most people I know can’t handle an 8 hour car trip with air-conditioning and a DVD player for entertainment.

But we are expendable.  After 10 fucking days of self isolation and the shutdown of only SOME of our businesses.  All of the larger businesses are still going.  I know more people who are doing their jobs from home than people who are out of work.  But the people who are out of work are the ones who can least afford it.  Waitstaff, bartenders, cooks, retail workers, fitness instructors, etc.  They are the ones needing a stimulus package.

So, apparently, if I were a true patriot, I’d happily agree to have all aspects of life opened up, let the virus have its way with us and if I’m one of the ones sacrificed then I’ll be remembered as a hero.  An unselfish warrior in the battle of Covid 19.  I am sure there will be monuments built in honor of our sacrifice some day.

This is where we are?  The United States of America can’t do any better than this?  If the Dow Jones is tumbling, let’s sacrifice some senior citizens?

I have known for a very long time that selfishness and self-interest have taken over our country.  I have watched as the most famous grifter of all time has taken every single beautiful thing about this country and ground it under the heel of his cheap shoes.

And I have watched in horror as people I love have cheered him on as if they are spectators at the cheesiest pro-wrestling match ever.  I have seen the effects of “I have mine. Screw you.”  I have seen greed up close and personal and it is God Damned depressing.  They talk about “bad choices” and “bootstraps” but we all know what it really is.

I’ll be the first one to say that the Boomers have screwed up a lot of things in this country.  And if you want to throw us out to the Covid 19 wolves, then I only have one favor to ask.

Since it was conservatives who came up with this idea, let them go first.





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