The United States has been living with the COVID-19 pandemic since early March. We've been told time and time again by scientists and doctors that the best thing we can do to curb the spread of the virus is to wear a mask, social distance, and wash our hands.
And while "millennials" and other younger people have been constantly criticized for not adhering to these safety measures, plenty of these very people have been struggling for months to get their older boomer parents to stay home and quarantine properly, to wear masks and actually take the pandemic seriously. For some reason, lots of older people simply don't think they have anything to worry about.
in an unsettling reversal of my teenage years, I am now yelling at my parents for going out— Brigid Delaney (@BrigidWD) March 16, 2020
The tables truly have turned. I've heard so many stories of parents still hosting parties, getting together with friends and family, and making unnecessary trips out into the world to shop. Why is this the case? Why do some older people just think the virus is a non-issue for them?
Well, it could be a combination of things. Writer Molly Jong-Fast wrote for Vogue that her own mom, who is 78 years old, wasn't worried about getting COVID-19 because she "doesn't feel old and she writes books and has all the energy of someone in her 30s."
Baby boomers don’t give a single fuck about this virus. My dad is from the hood so he claims he seen worse .. he like y’all grew up in the suburbs that’s why u scared 😭😭😭😭 grinding us up.— Imani S. Bellange (@chinchilly32) March 20, 2020
Me: “sorry, I can’t come to the event. I want to make sure I don’t get Covid and spread it to my boomer parents.”— Drew (@drewdyck) August 20, 2020
My boomer parents: “anyone know of some good super spreader events we can attend maskless??”
Lots of older people don't actually realize how old and at-risk they are. "Being an older adult today is not the same as being an older adult 50 years ago," Jong-Fast writes. "Just look around at the people running our government today. The average age of a sitting United States senator is 61.8. The president is 73. Nancy Pelosi is 79."
This article was written months ago, so we now know that the president indeed did contract COVID-19 and had to be sent to the hospital for treatment! And still, some people — the president included — had trouble believing they were actually at risk.
My mom is ignoring me because I’ve been telling her what to do amid this corona virus outbreak. Ugh being in charge of a boomer is CHALLENGING.— Laura Martin (@Larssmarss) March 20, 2020
After talking to my mom I am pretty concerned because 2 packets of Emergen-C isn't a plan— Kiki La Social Distancing (@kdc) March 12, 2020
My mom informed me that she and my dad still haven’t canceled the cruise they’ve planned for next month to which I replied OVER MY DEAD BODY YOU’RE GOING ON THAT CRUISE, DEBORAH, which is all to say that the student has—finally—become the teacher.— Grant Ginder (@GrantGinder) March 10, 2020
Many older adults have been way too cavalier about the virus in general, partially because of Donald Trump's approach to dealing the crisis. He repeatedly said that it was no big deal and that it would disappear on its own and that we didn't have to worry about.
Seven months later, over 220,000 Americans are dead, the virus is spreading uncontrolled, and in all other ways, the pandemic response has been an unmitigated disaster. But if it hasn't affected someone personally, sometimes it's hard for them to think the threat is real.
i cannot wait for my trump supporting parents and grandparents who dont believe covid is real to find out that Trump literally just tweeted that he got covid— Emmy (@queenjuulpod) October 2, 2020
thought covid wasnt a big deal donny 🥺
yall ever just get the mighty urge to absolutely go in on your parents/relatives and their boomer friends when they bitch and whine about masks and covid?— cosmic narcissism 🎃 (@trightly) September 29, 2020
i have to restrain myself every 2 seconds.
my school has a confirmed covid case and my parents dont "believe" in it. im going to start sobbing 🚶🏻♀️— jade⁷ ✰ semi ia 📚 (@svftkook) October 11, 2020
Worse than not taking it seriously, some people believe it's actually a hoax and doesn't exist at all. And younger people who care about their parents and don't want to see them put themselves at risk are at their wits' end. They have no idea what to do.
Who at NPR will volunteer to tell my 74-year-old mother who just got over breast cancer that yes, it's worse than a flu & she doesn't need to be going to book clubs all over town & water aerobics & Costco for no reason? She won't listen to me but she'll listen to you. Only you.— Jenée (@jdesmondharris) March 12, 2020
My parents DGAF about COVID-19 - "Some of us will die, some won't, don't panic"— Mick Watson (@BioMickWatson) March 17, 2020
Is this the ultimate FU of the boomer generation? So privileged they don't care whether they die?
Liberal Boomers be like “Haha Trump got Covid” and then don’t pull their mask over their nose.— LEX 🕷 (@Patr0n_Minette) October 5, 2020
This is a direct callout at my parents I’m so fucking tired
Boomer parents living cross country are going to kill me before this virus. As an old millennial, my head is going to explode. My dad, who as hospitalized two months ago for a lung infection, IS STILL GOING TO WORK IN NJ WHICH IS A HOT SPOT. AHHHHHHH— Jamie D. Gravell, PhD (@dontworryteach) March 23, 2020
If you too have Boomer parents who have been highly unwilling to take COVID-19 seriously, apparently the AARP website is what flipped my parents from wildly incautious to doomsday prepping.— Roopika Risam (@roopikarisam) March 15, 2020
Gonna start a support group called Children of Boomer Parents During Coronavirus Anonymous.— Shruti Sunderraman (@sundermanbegins) March 23, 2020
If you have older parents who still won't take the pandemic seriously, Roopika suggests leading them to the AARP website, which apparently has lots of good information. Maybe your parents will see that as a trusted source.
It must be super frustrating to have parents or other loved ones who aren't taking the pandemic seriously. But you can only do what you can do. They're adults! They should be responsible for their own lives!