Home Opinion Seniors, unite!

Seniors, unite!


THE PROPOSED mandatory quarantine (house arrest) of all senior citizens is unfair and unconstitutional! It is [an] arbitrary and discriminatory application of law, limiting our human and civil rights.

Confronting the most critical issue of the day facing the greatest generation cannot get any keener than this the preamble of a veritable seniors manifesto titled Protection Not Isolation Do Not Shackle The Healthy Seniors and taglined YAFUIBANAG that is now trending in the net.

Yes, the intent of government to protect the elderly high risk as they are from being infected by the deadly coronavirus is truly admirable, but is rather sweeping in its generalization where it should be target specific.

While we appreciate the concern for our safety against the dreaded Covid-19, the proposed mandate that senior citizens (60 years old and up) be restricted to stay home is ill-conceived and ill-planned, devoid of proper and in-depth economic and demographic analyses. The assumption on health vulnerability by the DOH is not based on conclusive study and research, and at best a cautionary assumption. Many young people got infected.

A fallacy of generalization of seeing a whole forest in but one tree is never an accurate, not the leastrational, appreciation of any given situation. An epic fail, as in the syllogism: Duterte is sick. Duterte is old. Therefore, all old people are sick.

Indeed, why should I at 66 be assumed to be highly vulnerable healthwise? Before the ECQ, I walked the aisles and scaled the stairs of SM Clark or SM Pampanga at least 70 minutes weekdays, and half-jogged our subdivision oval double the time on weekends.

At 62, I did my second trek of Mount Pinatubo. Only last year, I climbed the over 400 steep steps to the Chureito Pagoda to have a glimpse of Mount Fuji in the heat of summer, and later in balmy November, the steep hill up Cihou Fort in Kaohsiung. Walked up Mount Takao in Tokyo too, three years back. Not all guys half my age have had similar, or more difficult, climbing adventures, surely.

As surely, there are men and women there much older than me with even greater physical power.

Many senior citizens, especially those in the 60-65 years age group are still gainfully employed and are supporting their families and even grandchildren and some of them need to continue to work. Many of them are more healthy than the over-socializing and vice-filled younger workers.

Again, this strikes at my very core. I welcomed my senior year as editorial consultant at Punto! soon taking over as editor of its print and, later, online editions.

On the side, I still chase after news stories as I did in my 20s and 30s with as much enthusiasm, and undissipated energy. This, on top of unofficial consultancies with friends, both in business and public service.

All these sources of my employment, thankfully, have no established age of retirement. I shall go on until I write 30.

Yes, the kids are all settled with families of their own. No, I have not ceased providing support for them, as needed. To the grandkids, as grandparental largesse.

Looking beyond me, I have a friend, two years older than me, who dedicated his life to the care of his parents, both nonagenarians, and to teen-aged nieces he adopted. His is no isolated case as a whole genus of his kind has been given its own nomenclature thesandwich generation.

Many are also not qualified to receive social amelioration benefits. While many are also living independently from their younger children some of whom maybe staying abroad or in other communities.

Ay, me again. No SSS. No GSIS. Like most provincial journalists, our only security system comes from the benevolence of benefactors and friends. So we just have to keep pounding the beat, if not our computer keys.

The object of policies should be ensuring protection and ease of living and mobility not restriction and isolation.

Indeed. Has the proponent of this virtual house arrestfor senior citizens even considered the chaos its implementation will entail, given the requisite clause of equal application to all?

In the running of government how many officials, starting from Duterte, will have to cease from performing their mandate?

In the religious life how many bishops, priests, pastors, ministers, imams will have to stop their ministries?

In business what will be left of the corporate world without the CEOs, presidents, CFOs, COOs, and all those other acronyms?

In utilities, in labor, in services, in all other industries?

Now, dont give me the crap of proffering the usual exceptiontoeveryrule cow dung.

This rule home arrest for seniors will be so buried in exceptions and exemptions that not even a word of it will survive.

I call on all fellow senior citizens, especially the gainfully employed and the physically fit to unite and seek a review of the proposed mandatory quarantine during the so-called general community quarantine and selective lifting of ECQ. Let us call for more precision in policy formulation.

Reporting for duty. This senior is ready to rock and roll, Sir.


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