There’s nothing like a deadly coronavirus to stop you dead in your tracks and start considering what may have been, six months ago, inconceivable, but now, all of a sudden is quite possible.
At 67 I never thought my number would come up, at least, not until some time after 70, or even 80. In a country like ours, we could expect to live, and many have, well into their 80s, with a variety of ailments that were reasonably controlled by modern pharmaceuticals, and advances in medical science.
The coronavirus has swept all of that safety net away.
And, it seems, whilst it doesn’t affect those under 60 as badly as those over 60, it will if you have underlying medical issues, and particularly those with damaged immune systems.
Those, in fact, who are cancer patients and others who have to use medication such as methotrexate.
Someone like me.
Instead of the expectation of seeing my grandchildren grow up into the adults we expect them to be, the odds have been stacked against me. Statistically, the odds sit at 40% at best, 20% at worst, but my father is 95 and my mother 92. I suspect the fact they have survived this long adds a few more points to my best rate.
But, even as little as four weeks ago, when this pandemic was still just a localized epidemic, it seemed that it couldn’t happen to us.
Not the way it has in the last few days. It seems a lot of people don’t think the social distancing and self-isolation applies to them. the pity of it is, they are the ones who may be least affected by it.
To increase the chances of not getting infected, I have to lock myself away and cut off contact with everyone and everything for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, where we have responsibilities to others and live in an environment where isolation is impossible, I guess it’s only a matter of time.
I will be watching re-runs of The Omega Man, a film I saw one dark and dreary night, and one that surprised me that it might possible.
In those days, this sort of pandemic was not considered possible and the figment of some scriptwriter or author’s imagination. Now, it’s quite prophetic.
I think I’ll add Soylent Green to that list because it deals with the extinction of life in a different but equally improbable way. The problem is, I think it’s now an all too real possibility considering how we initially ignored the coronavirus, and are now ignoring climate change.
The trouble is, I don’t think I’ll live long enough to see that I’m right.
Watch the two movies and then let me know what you think.