Make no mistake: We’d be worse off without our seniors
I’ve said it many times before, I’ve written it countless times, but today I feel the need to express it again: seniors are extremely important to our society. Even though this message is hardly new for me, I feel the duty to reiterate it because it has taken on a much more fundamental significance over the past several weeks. In these times of crisis, it seems to me that some people have forgotten that all of us will become seniors one day—and stay that way for 30 years! And if we’re living in a healthy society today, whom do you think we owe that to?
We need every single generation, without exception
If I may raise a positive point about this crisis, I would say with certainty that it has made us realize the importance of senior citizens to our society’s well-being and future. It’s often when we lose someone or something that we realize just how valuable they are. A society without seniors is a society worse off. We’re unable to function normally right now for several reasons, but isn’t one of them the fact that seniors, like the rest of us, are currently confined to their homes? Isn’t now the time when we need our seniors EVEN MORE than ever—for their reassuring presence, their life wisdom, their helping hand and their volunteerism?
If they could be here with us now, who do you think would be supporting families with kids while schools are closed and parents are obligated to work from home? Who would be donating their time to help community organizations stay active and assist those in need? Who would help us fix a clogged drain, a door that won’t lock or a baseboard heater that only works half the time? And who could better honour us at our Easter dinner table to add even more love, laughter and vitality to our lives? How many tightly knit families lose a solid foundation when grandma and grandpa aren’t around anymore?
Make no mistake
Faced with a battle that demands a robust bill of health regardless of age, seniors are clearly in a vulnerable position as a result of the spread of COVID-19. The numbers don’t lie: to date, nearly 90% of deaths have been among people aged 70 and older. While our seniors are generally healthy, they are at much greater risk of developing serious complications if they contract the virus.
Seniors may be out of sight right now due to our best efforts to protect them from the menace, but they definitely aren’t out of mind. Make no mistake: they are as valuable as ever before. Once this crisis is over, it will give way to a host of major societal issues, and seniors will be there to shape our future, improve our own safety and lend us a helping hand. We will need them more than ever. That’s why it’s so important that we rally together to help them protect themselves.
“There has never been a more important time than now for us to recognize the importance of all age groups, including senior citizens. We must urgently protect them today so they’re still here with us tomorrow.”
We will get through this together
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the people in our society who are playing an outsize role in the fight against the spread of COVID-19: the seniors for their courage and adaptability, the entire population for following social distancing rules, the employees at the residences and the families for their support and presence, and finally, the government for its leadership. Quebec is being cited as an example of successful societal compliance with anti-COVID-19 measures. That’s no small accomplishment! Bravo to all of us. Now let’s keep building on this momentum.
“We have a historical duty to honour our seniors. Our seniors built Quebec. Our seniors pulled through challenging times. Our seniors are leaving us the legacy of a society that is better, fairer and richer. We have a duty to protect them. I want this to be the priority of every Quebecer. Protect our seniors. We owe it to them. To our seniors, I say: thank you. We are here for you.”
François Legault, Premier of Quebec