No doubt, the year 2020 will be defined by one word – Coronavirus. As I write this, the world is still in the process of reducing the impact of this aggressive threat. Many of us holed up at home for days or weeks on end. We haven’t yet gotten to the place of answering questions like:
What are the long-term physical and emotional effects of this virus?
How soon will the economy come back on track?
Has the threat passed? Or will it come back worse than ever in the fall?
Closer to home, when will my investments recover? Or will they?
What happens next?
We’ll get to those questions as the weeks unfold.
More Vulnerable or More Resilient?
Those over the age of 60 are well aware that they have been universally identified as “at greatest risk” from this current outbreak. Daily news coverage uses words like “vulnerable, weak and fragile” to identify those 60+. While medically that may be the case, I believe it diminishes the strengths and characteristics of this age group. Further, it cements the age discrimination that is so prevalent in US culture. So, I want to take this moment to offer my perspective.
I work with adults of all ages – from forward-thinking thirty-somethings to those approaching the century mark – and I can tell you that one characteristic I see in adults over 60 that is missing in younger adults is Resilience. Now, we can’t blame youngsters for their deficits in this area. Resilience is a quality that comes with life experience. There are no short cuts.
Survival Teaches Preparedness
Simply put, those over 60 have lived through many more personal tragedies, national emergencies, wars, devastating weather events, shocking crimes and other staggering losses than those who are decades younger. Many of my clients have vivid memories of the Vietnam War. They can tell you where they were the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. They’ve lived through the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and frightening nuclear catastrophes at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. They’ve stared death in the face with polio, AIDS, rabies and tetanus and breathed a sigh of relief when effective treatments were found for each of those.
The Over 60 group of adults have collectively stared into the abyss many times before, came out the other side and moved on with their lives. And it is my opinion that the rest of the world needs people in this age group now more than ever before as we move through this latest challenge in 2020.
In every single country on the planet, young adults and children need to be able to look to The Over 60’s for strength, wisdom and stamina. They need to learn how to look calmly into the abyss knowing they have done everything within their power to protect those they love and equip themselves to successfully face this challenge, and the next, and the next.
Preparedness Brings Peace
The Over 60’s understand that they have a duty to lead in times of crisis – to look after those they love, to make plans for life to continue under any circumstance, to prepare. Preparedness brings peace. Preparedness gives you an edge in any situation. Preparedness is an act of love.
The 2020 Coronavirus will forever be remembered as the year we all bought way too much toilet paper (like Charmin was a magic talisman that could ward off the evil spell!) And we’ll all be using bleach wipes on a daily basis for years to come. But we also relearned how to survive under the same roof as a family, how to reconnect, to do business in different ways, how to show we care even when we have to stay apart. We learned how to protect each other through the simplest of actions. We learned to lift spirits through acts of generosity.
Coronavirus brought us disruption, fear, death and chaos. But it also provided an amazing opportunity for Those Over 60 to step up and show what resilience looks like.
If you would like to lead by example and make a preparedness plan for your family, I’d love to help you do just that. Call my office at (907) 334-9200 to schedule a time to chat with me. I look forward to hearing from you.