I’m one of those older people with underlying medical conditions who you keep reading about in the newspapers. I’m 67, I live alone, and normally my autoimmune disease, giant cell arteritis, wouldn’t be a problem. But the drugs prescribed for many autoimmune conditions effectively lower your immunity. While I am not one of the people who must be “cocooned”, I’ve been told to be very careful. The former Telegraph editor Max Hastings, interviewed recently on Radio 4, said we oldies shouldn’t be so worried. In fact, we should be more concerned about what we are doing to the health service. “In the short term,” Hastings said, “older folks [should not] worry about the consequences … what we have to worry about is becoming a dead weight on the NHS.” Max, I regret to inform you that I do worry about death – and I’d like to think the NHS is there to stop me from dying, rather than perceiving me as a “dead weight”. But Hastings’ message couldn’t be more different from what is actually happening in Britain. The vast majority of people are doing extraordinary things to try to ensure those like me don’t die. Over the past weeks,… Read full this story
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