Membership in Groups

March 24, 2020-

I’ve historically had it tough, when being part of a group.  That hasn’t stopped me from trying.  I showed up every day, as a child, to take part the best way I could, in what ever game was being played.  In high school, I had friends with whom I could sit in the library and at lunch, and hang out on weekends.  Many are still connected-at least online.

I didn’t fare so well in the Army, or in college, but my purpose during those years was much different-and so, the work became most important.  The same was true of my first four years of teaching-never an insider, but connected with my students.  So it continued, over the next four decades, but family was my bedrock, and the kids were always the foundation.

I say this, in thinking about the groups with which I’ve been involved over the past nine years.  My Faith community is the strongest connection, followed by the mostly senior crowd at the American Legion, and my younger friends at Prescott College, both groups now in abeyance, until the virus runs its course.  Permaculture groups, like Slow Food and the Farmers Market have warmed to me, over the years.

I have personally committed to helping the Red Cross in the present crisis, only to find there is an “age-ism” rising.  The mentality seems to be that those of us over 65 are “at risk” and therefore ought to keep our distance, even beyond the current social distancing.  It may be that this is an attitude meant to keep us safe, but I find it patronizing-and more than a little cliquish.  I know my limits and would relegate myself to the background, if at all feeling ill.  I also am very tuned into the dynamics of small groups, and having seldom been an insider, can see when a situation is being manipulated to exclude all but the favoured few.

In the event there is a much larger calamity, I have become certified in FEMA’s Points of Distribution.  I am committed to helping my community, whether being welcomed by the elite, or not.  May it all just turn out to be unnecessary.


14 thoughts on “Membership in Groups

  1. Ageism, maybe — but if you get to the complications stage, it sounds as if this is a particularly nasty disease. For those of us over 65, that is the fear, since we are physiologically more susceptible to the complications. The question then progresses beyond whether we feel ill and should stay away from others, to whether we will fall to the complications and most likely die. I think it’s also partly an issue of spreading out the curve — if the ‘elderly’ and others who are susceptible are kept out of the group likely to contract the disease, there will be less need to care for those groups. Though elderly, I’m not compromised, I’d rather stay out of the way than expose myself to probable major illness and possible death. Further, there is a probability that there will be vaccines within a year or slightly more — I’d just as soon be around to see how the world changes between now and then! I very much doubt that there is an effort to exclude those of us who are over 65, especially those who are well and able to help if called upon — I think it’s rather a crisis management issue!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was mainly venting about those who asked me to help and when I showed up, were abrupt, and almost rude. about my presence. I guess that’s a bit irrational, but such moments will come and go. At least I jumped through a couple of hoops that were placed in front of me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Maybe not ageism, rather valuing older people, and trying to protect them. We oldsters are disproportionately represented in the populations needing respirators and ICU care which is not widely available.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Teacher,

    In Montreal, our elders have been told, vehemently by the government to Stay Home, Period. Each of us who can, have adopted at least one elder in our immediate surroundings, to assist for outside business. As difficult as it may seem, that some are acting exclusionary, I think the writing is on the wall, that those who play with fire, will, eventually, get burned.

    We all see what is going on in the U.S.

    In B.C.(out West) there are 7 elder care residences where numerous seniors have since died. Canada is very cognizant of the severity of this disease on that population. Here In Quebec, the government is proactive in making sure they are isolated for their own good, to the consternation of family, who cannot even get in the door to see them, for fear of spreading contagion.

    If the trend continues, as it is, and elder populations become greatly affected, we all know right now, the chance of survival is VERY slim. Below we have discussed the pitfalls of an inept government. And I for one, 52 years old, (HIV+ and DIABETIC) I am in a high risk group for death. I know you wish to serve, but to what end, if the chance of infection is greater for you than those you want to serve with?

    We know that the age group 20-44 is highly susceptible to serious illness if infected. Then the trend skips into the elder population by age group. In Montreal, we had our first child diagnosed a few days ago, so Corona is an equal opportunity infector. Anyone can get it, but some are more susceptible to serious complications.

    I don’t believe you want to be in the position of needing drastic healthcare, when the government is saying “We don’t care” lives be damned. i want your money, not save your lives because human life in expendable.

    Sick isn’t it. But that is the reality. Don’t get bent out of shape. Serve where you can but SAFELY. Because you never know who is walking in the door, and where they have been, and who they have been with.

    Food for Thought Teacher …


    Liked by 1 person

    • My post was probably premature, Jeremy, but yesterday I had had it up to my eyebrows with the pompous dismissal of my offers of help-words to the effect-“Just go back in the corner, Gramps. My FRIENDS will help me if I need it.” It triggered a lot of memories of the cliquish behaviour of others, back in the day when I was NOT an elder. I am otherwise doing just fine and am 100% behind social distancing. New York City is now on lockdown, and if we’re not careful, many others will be-except, of course, for Mar a Lago.


  4. Corona has no boundaries but the elderly have a decreased chance of survival, especially if they are ill. Distancing ourselves is to keep the disease from spreading. The key is to have a strong immune system so while we are staying at home, we must maintain a healthy diet and don’t forget to exercise. Stressing over the virus doesn’t help. Being positive and using common sense is our best defense. Stay safe and well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. In Indiana we are in lock down. All businesses suspended except those considered vital. Everyone is urged to stay home. Shopping on line is allowed and encouraged. The older citizens (60+) have been asked to limit their grocery shopping to one day a week either Tues or Thurs from 7:00 – 8:00 AM when all the stores have “senior” hours. The idea is to reduce exposures. I’m glad you were willing to volunteer but not surprised that you were asked to step back – for your safety. Even if it wasn’t done in a very kind or appropriate manner… Stay safe and well Gary and remember that your health is important to your family and friends!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am more on an even keel today. Knowing this is of great import helps me to stay focused. Your situation is more stringent than ours, but it will result in a shorter state of emergency. I am waiting for our governor to catch up to the other 30 states that have instituted lock down.


  6. I really like your blog. A pleasure to come stroll on your pages. A great discovery and a very interesting blog. I will come back to visit you. Do not hesitate to visit my universe. See you soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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