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A Boomer Doomer Virus?

A Boomer Doomer Virus?

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In the midst of the health emergency that we are living, with more time on our hands than we might have ever had, or ever wanted to have, various possible theories about the cause of the virus have appeared. 

One wants to blame a bat, or a pig, or a rat. Another blames China: “That’s where the virus was born!” squeals our Stable Genius, aka the Orange Emperor. Another theory—very compelling—blames a secret agreement between crumbling Empires in order to stay alive. Our Orangeness, of course, also blames former President Obama. 

One of the most odious theories is the one that blames the elderly, aka “Boomers,” or Seniors… or people of “La Tercera Edad” (The Third Age), as us geezers are called in Spanish. 

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Us, the young believers in the Age of Aquarius, are getting old. But we are not dying fast enough for some. Among them, an almost geezer named Christine Lagarde, Director of the International Monetary Fund—yet another weapon created by capitalism in order to keep Third World countries weighed down by debt. Lagarde was accused (a disclosure: it was really fake news) of having infamously said: “Old people are living too long and that is a risk to the global economy. We have to do something, urgently.”

Nevertheless, the expressed intent to do away with Social Security and Medicaid are not fake news. That intent has been repeatedly put forth by members of the current government of the United States. Although the same proponents of doing away with that “privilege” deny that they actually mean that, the more they deny it, the more it rings true. 

Recently, the Lieutenant Governor of Texas, some geezer named Dan Patrick (a 70-year-old traitor to his generation pals) declared to Fox News that “Older people would rather die than let Covid-19 harm U.S. economy.” He added that “No one reached out to me and asked, ‘As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival…”

Well, I am asking him. I am urging him! Maybe the AARP (American Association of Retired People) could have a fundraiser and ask its members to donate $1 each, so that Lieutenant Governor Patrick can sit on the collected bucks and die atop a wonderful and symbolic funeral pyre? A groovy sacrifice for the economy.

Is it really “Die old farts, die!”?  Are we really an albatross on the neck of this savage economy? 

I guess that it could be argued that us old farts have a very recognizable pre-existing condition: we have pre-existed too much.

I have news for you: not too many older folks would volunteer to sacrifice for the economy.

Illustration: Alexis Terrazas

Perhaps the most compelling reason is that getting older can be a dope experience. Not just because older people pioneered cannabis consumption, a now widely accepted herb and a pillar of the economy.

There are many wonderful adventures ahead for you all, those among you who still look at death as a far away possibility. 

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When I turned 50, my mother called me. I was not feeling all that cheerful, although those first 50 years had been wonderfully filled with many adventures, love and creativity. Somehow, the Big 5-0 seemed daunting, something close to the beginning of the end. I had not expected that feeling.

Mom perhaps sensed my ambiguity. Right after wishing me a happy birthday, she let out a very deep sigh, followed by a laugh. “Ah. I am so envious. 50. You are just beginning to live!”

When 60 came knocking at my door, she said something similar: “Carlos! These are the best years. You know who you are, you can relax. Instead of chasing wild dreams, you will only chase achievable ones.”

She died before I turned 70, so I did not receive a cheerful message from her. It was not necessary. By then, I had gotten her point about aging. It is something not to be feared. It grows on you.

On these dire times, when we are visited by a rather complicated and scary guest, Mister Coronavirus, older people are in the very eye of the storm. We are considered the most vulnerable part of the population. But on the other hand, some claim that we are the most expendable. 

For us, those who lived our youth in the “Summer of Love” (by the way, it was real! Ask us for details), us geezers who saw the dawning of the “Age of Aquarius,” an age which astrologically represents cooperation, humanitarianism and peace, the oneness of all beings, it is rather puzzling to be asked to be moved aside. After all, the Age is Aquarius is just beginning and we do not own it. There are at least 2,100 years left. Plenty of love to be shared. Plenty of life to be lived. Even for geezers.

I contacted a few of the old geezers that splash in the watering hole of our beloved aquarobics class with me, every Tuesday and Thursday. I asked if anyone would be willing to sacrifice for the economy. There was a lot of laughter. And a lot of cursing. “Hell, no!” was the favorite response. Perhaps reminiscing of the 1960’s, when many among us protested the war in Vietnam. Hell NO! We won’t go! 

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El Tecolote is 51 years strong this month!

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