Saturday, March 7, 2020

As an older adult

Photo courtesy of the CDC website page about older adults

The recent coronavirus fear pandemic is exacerbated by the media’s constant stream of news coverage.  It seems they’ve discovered the reading public has an insatiable thirst for more news about it.  And, it’s likely that a recent news article posted on the internet will be a clickbait giant.  Where will it all end?

Fortunately, Pierini Fitness is rather busy right now with his work and, by necessity, spends less time surfing the internet for the latest and greatest news. Some news headlines, however, manage to grab his attention.

Like one from last week.  It had a clickbait title, “New CDC guidance says older adults should 'stay at home as much as possible' due to coronavirus”.  Always curious of who is “older”, I succumbed to the clickbait and power-read the article.

It reported that “early data suggests older people are twice as likely to have serious illness from the novel virus according to the CDC.”  Further into the article, I learn that older people are over 60 years of age.  

Yikes!  My “older people” ship departed five years ago according to the CDC.

This made me curious to learn what else the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) powers to be who are responsible for the health and safety of middle-aged men, and older adults, are saying about us.  Plenty and troubling are what I learned.

Recent content on the CDC website about “older adults” casts a blanket doubt on our health literacy skills.  Specifically, they warn health care professionals the following about the health literacy skills of older adults:

(1)  71 percent of adults older than age 60 have difficulty in using printed material,

(2)  80 percent have difficulty using documents such as forms or charts, and 

(3)  68 percent have difficulty interpreting numbers and doing calculations.

The CDC advises that “we can improve how we communicate with older adults and create materials and messages that match their health literacy skills.”

Who are “we” that are being advised?  Obviously, health care professionals but, undoubtedly, among them are older adult health care professionals.  

Does this mean the warning is also self-directed?  Are older adult health care professionals capable of advising us older adult ordinary average American citizens?  After all, the warning suggests we’re a crowd of bumbling Mr. Magoo-type health illiterates.

What about our President or the cast of characters parading across the country peddling their qualifications and asking for our votes to be our next President?  They’re all septuagenarians and a couple of the candidates will soon enter octogenarian land.

And, what about the head of the CDC, Dr. Robert Ray Redfield Jr.  He’s 68 years “old” and, by golly, an older adult according to the warning his CDC organization is giving us older adults.

Older adult, 68 year old  Dr. Robert Redfield, CDC Czar 
They're all card-carrying members of the Geritol Club.  Are they incapable of delivering the leadership necessary to win the war against this coronavirus?

Obviously, this blanket older adult warning fails to delineate how the general literacy and level of education older adults have may impact who is really at risk.  

Who wrote this website content?  Some older adult employee of the CDC?  I doubt it.  

Probably some millennial employee wanting to move up the CDC government bureaucracy ladder and frustrated that an older adult supervisor is getting is his or her way.

Pierini Fitness perceives there’s a new generation of discrimination on the horizon; actually, it’s already arrived, but will grow to new levels unless we middle-aged men of the older adult CDC variety, and all other older adults, call a “spade a spade” to those making such blanket nonsense aging-discrimination statements.

Pierini Fitness has always been proud being a middle-aged man and this CDC nonsense makes him equally proud identifying as an older adult.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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