Having reached the midlife phase, one thinks that one has seen everything. We are the generation that lived through the stock market crash of the 1980s, the AIDs crisis, terrorism, the financial crash of 2007 and are vaccinated every year against the flu. Has any of this prepared us, though, for a pandemic? I suspect not.
In the last few days I have received calls from a number of my midlife friends who are beside themselves. Their fear of contracting the virus is palpable. We don’t see ourselves as ‘old’ and the virus, till recently, was seen as being a killer of the elderly. But how safe are midlifers?
I am not medically qualified but, judging from the graph below, the risk seems pretty low.
The report states that, ‘For those with cardiovascular (heart) disease the death rate is 10.5%, for diabetes it’s 7.3%. Chronic respiratory disease (such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) has a 6.3% death rate, for hypertension (high blood presure) it’s 6.0% and cancer is 5.6%’.
While it makes for alarming reading do remember that we are more susceptible to illnesses the older that we get. I take heart from the fact that there aren’t any special rules in place for midlifers. The rules for keeping safe apply to all ages. There is some comfort in this. These rules are:
- washing your hands
- using contactless payments to make purchases rather than handling money
- staying home
- avoiding crowds
- practising stress reducing habits like mindfulness, exercise and yoga
I am not going to beat about the bush. It is an extremely scary time. It feels as if a swarm of locusts is heading towards us and we don’t know what to do to protect ourselves. We are worried about our dependants. Some of us are sandwich carers – caring for our children/grandchildren and parents.
The virus has added to the burden of worries that midlifers already have. This is one more thing that I certainly don’t need. But then again it’s an added worry that nobody of any age needs.
Stay safe, wash your hands and avoid crowds. My urge to visit a garden centre is immense and I am having to beat myself around the head to stop myself from venturing out. Try beating yourself too when the temptation to go out gets too much.