I’m referring to the current respiratory pandemic, Covid-19.
I listen to my daughter and her partner, who’ve both had it and are now on the road to recovery. Like many others who report its effects on them, I recall being in a similar situation when we I was younger. It was before a counter remedy was available and it was simply called the Flu.
Every year, each generation dreaded its onslaught. It usually arrived from Asia and it too was a killer. We were lucky, because as young adults we had strong constitutions. We needed to have them, because it would result in weeks off work, most of the time spent laying in bed coughing and sneezing. There was no option, it laid us low and we were incapable of much movement, suffering high fevers and discharging large volumes of mucous.
Sometimes, we‘d feel well enough to go back to work because we had to, or our wages would be stopped, and we’d catch it again with the same or greater ferocity. This would cause our employers to get alarmed when more people were laid low. I once had to defend myself against the charge of shirking, providing proof by getting certificates from my doctor. Anyway, my poorly condition was obvious and my accuser left the room with his tail between his legs.
Which brings me back to the reports I hear from the youngsters today about how bad they felt when they caught Covid-19. I know I’m wasting my time telling them what it was like when I was their age, but I state with conviction that it was far worse in its widespread impact. Bedrooms were really cold in those days, central heating is now the norm, unless you’re a pensioner and can’t afford to use an electric heater.
When people were hungry, there were no foodbanks to give comfort to the needy. They looked thin too, not like those pitiable souls now, who uniformly look well-fed and possess large, flat-screen TVs, PC tablets and mobile phones with contracts to maintain.
When Channel 4 made a documentary on the allegedly poverty-stricken younger generation of today, it is hard to empathise with them because of their dependence on others putting food on their tables when they have so much material wealth. Clearly, food comes well down their pecking order of priorities and the concept of poverty needs redefinition.
To return to my original theme, I listen to the claims of how ill people are feeling when struck down by Covid-19 and think, “You’ve no idea of what it used to be like in the past. If you did, you’d stop moaning. It’s been mild for you, so far!”Then I take a step back in remorse. My gut feel is that it’s going to get far worse than what’s happened up till now, perhaps not in Northern Europe, but in places like India and the rest of Asia. You can almost guarantee that their populations will be severely reduced.