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Thursday, August 13, 2020
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Home COVID-19 Guess who’s to blame for Covid-19? The old white male, of course

Guess who’s to blame for Covid-19? The old white male, of course

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SO you thought all those young ‘covidiots’ flouting the stay-at-home and social distancing rules were the biggest risk for spreading coronavirus?

Not so, according to the Huffington Post news website. The real culprits are – wait for it – old white males.

Do they mean me? Well, I suppose they do. I’m old, white and male.

The Huffington Post quotes research which allegedy shows we’re the ones who consistently ignore warnings, distrust officialdom and experts, tend not to do what we’re told and believe in own own invincibility.

So where does that leave us in the current crisis?

Cue Invasion of the Coronavirous Codgers, a horror movie where hordes of wrinkly zombies on Zimmer frames creak through the city, wafting their germs before them with their pension books as the young, fit and healthy flee for their lives …

I exaggerate. But do we old white males really have this apparent death wish? Well, there may be some who think they’re Superman, and some in high office who’ve blatantly disregarded their own advice.

But not this old white male. Nor, I suspect, not many other old white males. Or come to that, old males of any other colour.

You see, the clue is in the description – we’re old. And when you’re old, you do your best to stay alive, even if that means getting older. You don’t go gallivanting about daring the Grim Reaper to come and get you.

That’s why I’m reluctantly following the lockdown rules to the letter. That’s why I was in Sainsbury’s on Saturday looking a vision of loveliness in my white face mask (with red side-valve and double elastic fixing loops) and blue nitrile gloves while emitting a powerful aura of hand sanitiser.

I’m probably a scary sight during normal times, but thus attired, I cleared the Cheese and Butter aisle of other shoppers in short order.

During my GADE (Government-Approved Daily Exercise) I see quite a few other old white males and I can tell you they’re also taking it seriously, despite being fed up with the lockdown.

Before the pandemic, many of these grey gadabouts would routinely collar me for a long chat and I’d be held spellbound by their tales of ungrateful grandchildren, the latest arthritis remedies and the renewal date for bus passes. 

These days, when they see me coming, they skirt around me as if I’m girdled by an invisible force field. Their eyes are lowered so as to not give even a glance of acknowledgment, and some go blue in the face as they hold their mouths firmly shut for fear of breathing in my noxious emissions.

I must admit, I’m also giving them plenty of room, although I do try to manage the odd grin or grunt as I slide furtively past.

Others who do speak from a distance tell me they think the rules are onerous, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. The general opinion is that the Government doesn’t know its SARS from its ebola (being an old white male, I’m slightly deaf, so I may have misheard that).

Anyhow, as far as I can tell – down our way at least – there are no old white men blatantly ignoring the lockdown. We’re all too old for that sort of nonsense.

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Henry Getley
Henry Getley is a freelance journalist.

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