By Jimmy Rhatigan
OUR AGED, infirm and ill have been battered and bruised in their nursing home confinements and eventually buried as they were treated as second class citizens not by nurses, doctors and carers but by the powers that be.
Despite pleas from the Nursing Homes’ Association of Ireland and a warning that the sector was in severe danger because of threats from Coronavirus little or no action was taken until it was too late and as a result almost 1,000 families are mourning the deaths of loved ones.
A theory that there is a co-operative international cull of the elderly is one that was swallowed by many cynics early on.
That theory may now be believed by big numbers of people and while no one has any evidence of organised disrespect, it is hard to blame those who are now buying into it.
We will have learned a lot from this pandemic. One is that young people may for many reasons do what they please and not what they are told.
Another is that our elderly, those wonderful people who helped to build our country, are, in the view of many sectors of society, quite dispensable.
Not everybody thinks the same way but there certainly seems to be a cohort that has the view that ‘they have had a good innings, God rest them’.
With a decrease in sad deaths and numbers of those being diagnosed with Corona on the decrease or at least becoming more stable, optimists, and it is always good to be optimistic, may believe that the end of the battle against an invisible enemy is nigh.
We hate to be spoilsports but even the most eminent and intelligent of medical experts cannot guarantee us that one.
Some will say that the end is in sight but only if we keep the rules.
Suspicions that those of pension years are easy prey have now been heightened further with a kite from the whispering trio of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and The Greens, weird but possible bedfellows in a Government that will need a very sharp referee to keep them from continuously locking horns.
With talks between the trinity ranging from ‘a government soon’ to ‘no real sign of agreement’, someone with a green, blue or yellow shirt (Fianna Fail’s new outfit) has sent out the message that one of the first promises from politicians, that the old age pension age will not be changed from 66 to 67, is about to broken.
The trio has not even reached any kind of comfortable conciliation in its efforts to ensure that Sinn Féin do not get near the reins of power but is already wielding the axe that could also endanger politicians at any round or bockety table talks.
As is the case with many people in power in our country, the low lying fruit is picked off first.
Early in the pandemic concerned medics were talking openly about horrible decisions that could have to be made if an ill and elderly and a young and fit patient were both in need of the only piece of medical equipment available to save one or the other of their lives.
The inference was that it would be RIP Granny.
Other medics believed that it could go down to a case of which patient had the better chance of recovery regardless of age.
With our seniors set to become the victims of the first broken promise of a possible new Government and recalling that in Covid-19 Out of Work payments there was no consideration for workers between the ages of 66 and 70, it is hard not to give some consideration to the cull theory.
As the combination of green, blue and yellow, begin the slashing and burning before a ball is kicked off, one can only imagine what is in store for us if the boys and girls succeed in reaching the power game.