An expert has claimed that elderly people would surrender their safety to spend Christmas with their families as it’s more important to many than staying alive.
If coronavirus constraints mean they’re unable to do so, numerous elderly people will be crippled by loneliness.
The stark warning comes from 85-year-old Baroness Greengross, who is one of the UK’s leading experts on ageing and the former director-general of the charity Age Concern advised ministers to buffer constraints in the run-up to the festive season.
And she said: ‘What do we do about elderly people who long to see their family at Christmas and it looks as if they’ll not be able to? That’s absolutely awful’.
She continued: ‘I think I would make an announcement just before Christmas that relaxed some of the rules because most older people with families would prioritise seeing them, I think, overstaying alive.’
Baroness Greengross said that she fears constraints to prevent the spread of the coronavirus have come at the expense of many people’s quality of life.
Everyone deemed vulnerable to coronavirus symptoms was urged to shield themselves earlier this year when the virus took hold of the country. This included anyone aged over 70, who were vulnerable to the disease because of their advanced age.
For the past six months, many have been cut off from their families and unable to see their loved ones as much as they would have wanted, but Baroness Greengross said to not see them for Christmas would be an added disappointment.
With more stringent coronavirus constraints being introduced as the country wrestles with a wave of cases of the virus, she hopes Government ministers will recognise this while setting out their plans for December.
Baroness Greengross has been a relentless defender of the rights of the elderly since entering the House of Lords cross benches in 2000 and according to the Campaign To End Loneliness, there are nine million lonely people in the United Kingdom and four million of them are more senior people.
More than a million older people also say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member and Ester Rantzen, who founded The Silver Line, a free confidential helpline that provides the elderly with information, friendship and advice, previously said that once our elderly are self-isolating, we need to protect them not only from the virus but from the emotional impairment caused by loneliness.
Many grandparents are fed up with the restrictions and enjoy hugging their grandchildren, socialising with family and close friends – sometimes in groups larger than six – going to the shops and some having holidays.
Life is for living, however long we’ve got – it’s a virus, not Ebola. I know that I’ll be having Christmas and no one is going to care who’s in my home over the Christmas period.
Chief Science Officer for Pfizer Doctor Mike Yeadon said that the second wave was fabricated on false-positive COVID tests and that it was being founded on Government policy, economic policy, civil liberties policy, in terms of limiting people to six in a group, all based on, what might be, totally bogus data on the coronavirus.
Eat, drink and be merry. As they say, every day is Christmas despite being vulnerable and shielded and whilst I disagree with how the Government have managed most things, I have upheld what has been asked of me.
Christmas however, is one time of the year where I would resent not being able to spend time with my friends and family, and some families that have very old grandparents and great grandparents, well, how many more Christmas’s will they be able to spend with them?
And it’s frustrating that people are permitted to work 10-12 hours a day in a tin can, but can mingle with 25,000 customers every week, let alone in the run-up to Christmas, but our families aren’t allowed to spend just one day with their families and friends.