Until today, I considered myself an active, engaged, still-working Boomer–enthusiastically involved in ministry with my peers. That was until today when they moved the line.
I am now in a separated group called “age 65 and older.” Our federal and state governments are expecting those born before the year 1956 to stay home. Get out of the public. Confine. Isolate. Seclude.
Now to be fair, all ages are being asked to observe physical distancing. Businesses and restaurants are closed, and life as we have known it has come to a screeching halt in an attempt to keep more of us healthy and alive.
But something hits hard about the age delineation-the specificity of being age 65 or older. It’s different than being separated because of serious health conditions or vulnerability. For the first time in my over-the-age-of-65-life, I’m being told that because of my age I need to stay home, withdraw, not see my family and grandkids, not volunteer in the community, and not help. I completely understand the rationale. But it still feels odd.
In addition, I hear physicians and others say the Millenials will be the ones to respond and help make this crisis go away. They are the generation that will create a new environment, invent a treatment and hopefully, a vaccine. They will work from home, educate their children, create new businesses, and avoid contact with grandparents. Seriously? I had the misguided understanding it would be Boomers who would save the world. I’m praying the next generations will, indeed, step to the plate and fulfill their calling and destiny.
This is a horrifying season in the life of our world. I do get it. Assuredly, I am self-isolated in my home, trying to stay healthy, breathe fresh air, avoid everyone, and compulsively wash my hands. I’m also grieving on many levels. I’m grieving not being with my grandkids. I’m sad I can’t volunteer at the food distribution center or attend worship gatherings. I’m frightened about what this will mean for my husband’s and my health, our ministry, the lives of our mothers, our finances. I’m apprehensive about the ethical decisions forced on an overwhelmed health care system.
I’m very grateful for the safeguards. Clearly, we are a generation in peril and our leaders are striving to protect us. It’s just that I’m a little bummed about being moved into a new part of the playing field—just beyond the line marked 65.
written by Leona Bergstrom
©Re-Ignite March 17, 2020
Images by CanStock