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Bad times to be a senior as neglect and abuse of elders all too common

Where did we go wrong?

Not all that long ago, we were taught to look up to our elders, and our senior citizens were respected for their knowledge, experience and all they had contributed to society during their lives.

Today, more often than not, seniors are viewed as little more than a bother, and there are actually people out there applauding Covid-19 for helping to decrease the surplus population.

An article I had read about a month-and-a-half ago by columnist Gerry Bowler had the hair on my arm standing up in a way it only does when I fear the worst is yet to come.

We here in Canada were shocked and outraged by the Covid-19 related deaths of so many seniors in care homes during this pandemic, but should we have been? Or, were we really?

Have we been willingly blind to the levels of respect totally bottoming out for baby boomers (of which yours truly is one) who, by those who came after, are blamed for almost every ill in Canadian society, including ruining the environment, screwing up the economy and generally hogging the best of everything just for themselves during the past 55 to 75 years.

Today, society is more concerned with the images on cereal boxes and pancake mixes – cosmetics giant L'Oreal even announced this past week that it's removing the words whitening and lightening (Seriously? Lightening?) from their product line – to worry about those in their not-so-golden-anymore years.

And, with statues and name plaques representing everyone from Christopher Columbus, to George Washington, Robert E. Lee, John A Macdonald, Winston Churchill and Woodrow Wilson being vandalized now on an almost daily basis, no elder in our historical past is safe, let alone those still drawing breath in today's world-gone-mad era.

And this is in no way, shape or form restricted to Canada and the United States.

Just how far elders' stock has fallen in the world today can also be evidenced by actions taken abroad during the pandemic.

The shortage of medical equipment necessary to treat suffering Covid-19 patients in Italian hospitals resulted in some patients 60 years of age or older not being fully treated, which led to the needless death of many a pensioner in that country.

Meanwhile, in England and Wales, it's been reported that a number of care homes issued blanket do-not-resuscitate orders for their elderly clients, while some doctors refused to go into care homes and denied their seniors hospital admittance.

So how is the world reacting to this gross negligence in caring for our elderly?

A number of Americans are excited by the elderly deaths due to the fact the majority of seniors in that country tend to vote Republican, hence the deaths among the ranks of seniors lessen the chances of Donald Trump being elected.

Still others look at the seniors' deaths as being poetic justice, in that Earth is getting its revenge for today's elders having ravaged the planet's resources and whistled while they did it.

And, here in Nunavut, elder abuse has been a growing concern for a number of years now.

There are many in today's world who view all this as proof positive that today's youth look upon their elders with increasing hostility.

Whether that's entirely true or not, the animosity created between the generations by today's tensions will almost surely impact decisions made by policymakers for years to come.

And, like it or not, these, apparently, are among the worst times in history to be a member of the aging population.

Food for thought.