Blog | Friday, July 3, 2020

I have perhaps 5 good years left, and don't want to live like this


I recently heard the following viewpoint from a very active person in their mid-70s:

Before the pandemic, I was in the golden years of my life. I used to enjoy gathering with all my family and friends, and was traveling the world seeing new places I've always wanted to see. The last couple of months has been horrible, I'm a scientist by training, and understand the initial need to flatten the curve and stop the spread. I don't mind spending several weeks or months living under this lockdown with these restrictions, but if we're talking years—count me out. I'm a social person, want to be able to see my family and friends regularly, and don't want my remaining years devoid of this, and the ability to travel. I know the statistics well, and the mortality rate is less than 10% in my age group, maybe much lower, and less than 1% in younger, healthier people. My age group is the one that supposedly needs the most protection, and I understand the risk. But nobody has asked me, or anyone else my age, and we have no voice in the media. To be honest, I'd rather take my chances than let my remaining years be in isolation at home—waiting for an effective vaccine or treatment which may never come. I understand the need to protect people, and by all means anyone who wants to socially isolate completely, can do so—but I don't want to live like this for the remaining few good years of my life.

What do people think of this viewpoint? Is it reasonable or selfish?

Suneel Dhand is an internal medicine physician, author and speaker. He is the founder of DocSpeak Communications and co-founder at DocsDox. He blogs at his self-titled site, where this post first appeared.