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Coronavirus ages 60-year-olds

60 suddenly became the new 65. When I was 62, I believe when I said: Wait

Chip Conley, the founder of “Modern Senior College” said: “I am 60 years old later this year, so I am keenly aware of this.” He called this college the world’s first middle-aged wisdom school. “Suddenly: I belong to a high-risk group? Am I considered an old man?”

I don’t mean to refuse any help that might keep me and my senior cohort alive. Bring those quiet senior shopping time. I would never argue that when tens of thousands of Americans die, tens of millions of people are unemployed, and our democratic system is in trouble, it is imperative to maintain these language boundaries.

Nonetheless, this sudden downward pressure on the elderly community made me a non-American. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Census Center have used 65 years to define the elderly. (Until last Thursday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tried to quell this confusion by publishing news: “It’s not just people over 65 who are at increased risk of serious diseases.”

; Until 65, you still can’t Get Medicare. Or all social security benefits up to age 66. Therefore, perhaps we can blame this on China and the World Health Organization, because both use “over 60 years old” to define the elderly, and both are source news for many coronaviruses.

More importantly, for those in the gray area of ​​the early 1960s, the harm caused by slipping standards is far more than vanity, even when the shutdown causes us to lose the tools on which we depend. It also makes us lose our final denial, such as botulinum toxin, hair salon and gymnasium.

Denial plays a vital role in human survival, which helps explain why most people prefer to stay in the sun for as long as possible.

Sarah Barber, a cognitive aging expert at Georgia State University, told me: “From the age of 40, people reported that they felt about 20% younger than their age, and this number will obviously over time. It’s getting bigger and bigger.” She said that as we grow older, we also tend to think of “old age” as a matter of getting later, which further enhances our illusion that we are still young.

As they say, we are only our own age. When we think of our age and inevitable disadvantages, it can make us feel older, fragile, and incapable. This was established through research on the “stereotype threat”, which means that, for example, when the elderly, mothers or other groups are reminded about their group’s stereotypes, they will inadvertently tend to verify it.

In a pioneering study, the elderly (62 to 84 years old in this case) were divided into three groups. A group of articles read links age with cognitive decline. Another article read describes an elderly person who remains sensitive as he ages. The third group did not read. Then, all three groups conducted a test asking them to remember a few words. Guess which group has forgotten the majority? Of course it is the first one.

Focusing on the gloomy image of aging will reduce your coordination and even become unhealthy. The researchers found that those who are more negative for middle-aged aging may lose their motivation later, and the time to recover from a heart attack is more difficult. People who accept the most frustrating impression of aging culture may also take care of themselves and even shorten their life expectancy by an average of 7.5 years.

Popular culture constantly reminds us of aging and death, especially nasty Twitter tags like BoomerDoomer and BoomerRemover. Stories about “predecessors” are often illustrated with images of bent postures and crutches or photos of lonely white-haired grandmother peering through a locked window.

No wonder my knee is sore, I recently changed to a stronger reading glasses. I asked my husband more than once today, which is uneasy for both of us, just as I heard people of other ages having the same trouble.

To prevent stereotypes from becoming self-fulfilling prophecies, organizations such as Conley’s Modern College of Geriatrics and the American Association of Retired Persons have been trying to “reshape” aging, emphasizing many so-called benefits, such as wisdom and contentment. Considering that the average age of Conley’s “seniors” is 52 years old, they cast a big net, and when you are 50 years old, AARP starts mailing your membership card to you.

For a long time, age discrimination has been one of the most popular prejudices in the United States. Although we are lucky, we will all be its targets. Psychologists’ research on the stereotype of aging writes: “We ignore the elderly and the condemnation. In other frustrating news, they cite research that shows that in addition to discrimination in employment and medical decisions, the elderly People of any age are more likely to appear in television and movies, “as a channel for comic relief, using the body, cognitive stereotypes, and sexual inefficiency. “

It’s no wonder that even among people over 65 years old, there are many people who are not prepared for the new considerations and restrictions faced by the official climb to the top of the mountain.

The 65-year-old political editor Paul Taylor complained: “I feel like a wayward teenager, punished for smoking or drinking underage.” The term “Tween” means pre-puberty.

Before the pandemic, I thought I was the oldest in the worst case, and at the same time assume that people have reached a broad consensus on the end point of reasonable young people. In reading the controversial appeal of Texas Governor Daniel Patrick (Datrick Patrick), I even admitted that I was gloating because Patrick’s standard was “over 70 years old”.

But then I realized that the coronavirus may infect all of us with the most terrible view of aging, of which “old” is synonymous with useless and expendable. Who is ready for this?

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