Grandparents May Be Having a Difficult Time Amid Protests and Coronavirus

Grandparents are suffering and having a difficult time during these unprecedented conditions in the world. Not only is the pandemic adversely impacting the older grandparents over the age of sixty-five and/or with preexisting medical conditions, but now the protests over racism have them worried as their grandchildren participate in the peaceful protests.

When the Covid-19 virus first started to become a big issue in the United States, it was stated that older people were at higher risk. Although the coronavirus has affected some younger people, the oldest in the population continue to be the most vulnerable. One wonders how the virus got into nursing homes and senior living facilities, but those facilities seem to have been hit very hard.

People have been dying with only medical personnel around them in nursing homes and hospitals as they have been restricted from having visitors. Although some of the oldest patients who were lost to the virus may have been ready to leave this life, it is sad to realize that they could not see their family and friends in their last days upon the earth.

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With states trying to get back to normal and ease restrictions, social distancing has been difficult to maintain especially with the protests which erupted after the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. There are few grandparents in the protesting crowds, but the grandparents have to worry about their grandchildren who are engulfed in the fight for justice for black people.

White people and young people have become overwhelmingly supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement and the fight against racism. The large crowds are a worry for people who are concerned with the spread of the coronavirus. Grandparents share that concern.

During World War II, Japanese Americans and immigrants from Japan were unjustly removed from their west coast homes. Most of them lost almost everything they owned including their freedom as they were incarcerated in camps. Two thirds of them were United States citizens. There were some grandparents in the group. They thought the Constitution would protect their children and grandchildren who were American citizens. That was not to be the case as racism and hatred caused these innocent people to be imprisoned unjustly.

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People can be grandparents while they are relatively young. For those grandparents who are older, they realize that the end could be close. Their concern is not so much for themselves, but they are concerned for their grandchildren. Some who have true concern for others in society are trying to help erase racism.

Grandparents may be having a difficult time now, but most are likely proud of their children and grandchildren for their efforts to make the United States a more just and equitable country.

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by Irene Mori