Young woman holding senior man hands, closeup
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Crikey is calling for first-hand experiences of the pandemic from readers in their 70s and beyond. To contribute, write to us at [email protected] with “Missing Voices” in the subject line. Today, retired GP Hein Vandenbergh shares his experience.

Until fairly recently I was an older but fit and healthy GP, working at the medical frontline in a rural region.

Unfortunately, I was, earlier this year, diagnosed with a rare progressive autoimmune pulmonary disorder. This caused my “premature” — at age 73 — retirement, and places me at HUGE risk should I contract COVID-19.

I am immeasurably grateful to all those younger Australians who sacrifice so much, sacrifices of which we, older citizens, are the main beneficiaries.

I am not sure that this gratitude has been publicly and clearly expressed.

We stand in your debt, and personally I shall be very prepared to accept a lower living standard, post-COVID-19, to facilitate the economic recovery of the younger generations of my fellow Australians.

Thank you all, your efforts and sacrifices are noted every day.

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

What a year. Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey