OK Boomer – why are the over 60s faring best in the lockdown?
Posted on 21st April 2020
Be-IT (average age, oh, I don’t know, but I think probably about 29) is, like everyone else, locked-down for the duration. My experience thus far, corralled in Newton Farm, near Uddingston with my fiancé, is that it’s pretty boring.
However, I assumed that while it’s boring for me (aged 27), I and the rest of those in the 18-29 age group, would be better off than most of the rest of the population. After all, we’re the tech-savvy younger generation that is most at ease with social media, Netflix (and chill if you like, but use contraception as we don’t want a baby boom after Christmas!), PlayStation et al.
What do I know? According to a study by University College, London, which for the past three weeks has surveyed 60,000 people about their thoughts on the lockdown, how the government is handling of the crisis, what concerns them most about and also about their feelings of loneliness, it’s the older generation that is coping best.
Not only that, but it’s my generation that has most problems with loneliness and feeling blue. In particular, stress related to expectations of becoming infected is highest amongst those between 30 and 59.
All participants in the study were asked to score themselves out of 10 for each different aspect of lockdown. When it comes to overall “Life Satisfaction” (shown below) the Baby Boomers (aged 60+) scored between 6 and 6.5, while those between 18 and 29 scored themselves between 4 and 4.5. For “Loneliness,” the highest score was for my generation, aged 18 to 29, with a rating of 6 out of 10. And while we might think that older people, whom we often think of as being stuck on their own, would fare badly, they actually felt the least lonely, with an average score of 4.5.
On almost every measure, my generation does worst. I have a friend in the police, and he tells me that he is spending too much time breaking up house parties. The UCL study shows two thirds of all people saying that they were sticking to the rules fully, but only 45% of younger people reported that they are obeying all the rules. That will be those idiots with whom my friend in the polis is having so much trouble. In contrast, more than 80% of those aged 60+ are behaving themselves (and they don’t have to worry about contraception either!). Not only that, but the 60+ age group are also exercising most: some 43% of them spending more than 30 minutes a day on keeping fit, whereas for the other age groups the figures on fitness range from 32% to 35%. Perhaps most scary, the report reveals that 39% of all age groups are doing no exercise at all.
Do I want to accelerate to being 60? No, obviously not. Do I wish I could emulate the Baby Boomers during this crisis? Yes, strange as it might seem, I do…
Scott Bentley, Be-IT
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