Is 19 young or old
comment : Corona must not divide young and old
Berlin - The Corona crisis is a great burden for society as a whole. One can only guess where the polarizations are leading: between those who call for maximum relaxation and those who urge caution. Between vaccination supporters and vaccination opponents. Between science supporters and conspiracy theorists.
Polarization also affects the relationship between the generations. At the end of the first corona wave you can hear things like: With the measures taken over the past few weeks, society has shown solidarity with the elderly. The young people in particular would have paid a high price and should finally be given targeted support. That was roughly how it was recently read on this page.
Yes it's right. Above all, it is the young people who are suffering from the economic consequences of the Corona crisis, whose livelihoods are threatened - precisely because they were already in a precarious position before, struggling from internship to internship. Because they only get temporary jobs or have to make ends meet as self-employed, freelance artists or start-up entrepreneurs.
But is it really correct to conclude from this that the young have sacrificed themselves for the old? No, such a view is incorrect for medical reasons alone. The measures taken over the past few weeks were intended to prevent a general overload of the health system - for the benefit of everyone. Because it is true that the risk of a severe corona course increases with age and that most of the sick people in Berlin - the majority between 20 and 59 years old - get away with it. Still, Covid-19 is new to everyone. Medical professionals are still trying to find out what is going on in the body. Studies show that inflammation and coagulation disorders with Covid-19 can cause long-term consequential damage: to the lungs, heart and even to the brain. Even with boys.
The risk groups also include not only the elderly. According to the assessment of an AOK institute, 21.9 million Germans have a relevant previous illness. That's one in four. Keeping an eye on everyone - whether old or young - and finding a way through the pandemic with a sense of proportion is what distinguishes us as a civilized society.
This crisis should be about the coexistence of generations. And that also applies to the possible economic recovery after Corona. Undoubtedly, problems exist with an aging society. And one comment recently complained that the elderly stood in the way of the young in their economic advancement because, thanks to their good health, they stuck to their jobs forever.
But this picture is crooked for several reasons. First, most old people don't do this just for fun, but because politicians have raised the retirement age. Second, only one in two people make it to retirement age in their job, according to a study. Thirdly, the widespread poverty in old age shows that it is not only young people who are affected by the crisis. Fourthly, there is hardly any company where the conditions for younger people improve because older people leave. No, the result is usually a general reduction in job security and pay. Some professions - such as social work, care and upbringing - are criminally underpaid from the outset, without a particularly large number of old people working there, who stand in the way of the young.
Isn't it more likely that the elderly are the only salvation for many families? Just because they still have some reserves or once earned better? Parents often support their children in their education up to their thirties, grandparents save for their grandchildren. You help each other and compensate for a lot of the distortions that society produces. Our old people are urgently needed.
The idea of solidarity should be upheld, especially in the Corona crisis. And social issues - justice, equal opportunities and burden sharing - should not be turned into a conflict between the generations.
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