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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

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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

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