(Image: AAP/David Crosling)

In our Missing Voices series, Crikey is asking our older readers to share their first-hand experiences of the pandemic.

Lee Tonkin writes: Having just turned 75, there are two things that I dread: going into aged care, and dementia.

Many of us are supporters of euthanasia for these reasons, and others.

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Now if I was in a home, got COVID-19, my favoured option would be to stay where I was and quietly demise, NOT be carted off to die alone and on a ventilator. Is anyone offered this option, I wonder?

It would surely be cheaper, and probably preferred by many.

Susan Flaxman writes: I am 73 years “young”: active, fit, healthy and recently retired.

Suddenly I am considered old and in need of protection; I don’t like it.

But mostly I feel a great sadness: sadness for my little grandchildren living a life of lockdown and facing an uncertain future; sadness for the wretched state of my beautiful country; and sadness for the degraded planet my generation will leave behind.

To young people I say: please try to do better.

Barbara Flowers writes: I’m 72 and I don’t see our pandemic response as being solely about protecting the elderly, though I’m glad that’s happening.

But it’s also very much about not allowing a virus with an unknown “tail” getting into the entire population and destroying the health of a significant number of people of all ages, possibly for decades and producing lifelong health problems.

COVID-19 has as yet not fully known future consequences, repeat infection seems to produce much worse symptoms and outcomes. And repeat infection will happen at an increasing rate in a population where the virus is running unchecked.

We ought to be as cautious as we can be about the outcomes for our grandchildren. For many old people that would be of much greater concern than just our own lives.

Ian Cross writes: As an 82-year-old grandfather I fear for my grandkids. Finding a vaccine and the virus should be alright next year, not so climate change. We must act now before it is too late.

What worries me is the fossil fuel lobby and gutless politicians, I fear it will be too late to stave off disaster for planet earth.

Crikey is calling for readers in their 70s and beyond to share their first-hand experiences of the pandemic. To contribute, write to us at boss@crikey.com.au with “Missing Voices” in the subject line. 

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Crikey is an independent Australian-owned and run outfit. It doesn’t enjoy the vast resources of the country’s main media organisations. We take seriously our responsibility to bear witness.

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Peter Fray
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