As the vast majority of able-bodied UK citizens self-isolated yesterday in an effort to stem the spread of the Coronavirus and protect the lives of millions of elderly citizens, the elderly responded by leaving their homes in droves, wandering around as if they didn’t have a care in the world.
Displaying what many elderly are proudly calling ‘Dunkirk spirit’ countless over 70s shunned advice to protect themselves during this dangerous time by remaining in their homes, as they tend to do anyway, and instead emerged in their belligerent thousands to fill Britain’s garden centres, charity shops and post offices.
As British workers risk their livelihoods, struggle to pay their rent or mortgage and face weeks of self-imposed boredom in an effort to ensure the deadly Coronavirus doesn’t spread to those most vulnerable members of society, over 70s displayed a resolute defiance by flaunting government advice and mingling as much as is humanly possible.
“It won’t affect me,” 75 year old Frank Shufflebottom told the Daily Shunt in a charity shop in Stourbridge, “I smoke 60 cigarettes a day and haven’t been to the doctor in years. I’d sooner get the Coronet Virals sooner than later anyway, then I can get on with my life like normal and do what I love doing most, which is going to charity shops.” After a fit of coughing and wheezing, which lasted for ten minutes, Shufflebottom went on to say, “it’ll all blow over in a couple of weeks, man and boy. You mark my words.”
Gladys Cox (81) explained, “usually I’d just sit at home watching the telly, but everyone needs to do their bit, don’t they. It’s like in the war, isn’t it. You’ve got to muck in and help however you can, haven’t you. I’ll be spending the morning at Cadbury garden centre then I’ll spend the afternoon walking very slowly through the town centre muttering to myself.”
Those members of society who are unlikely to suffer any complications if they contract the Coronavirus but are self-isolating anyway in an effort to reduce the risk to those who are are, have been described as ‘over-reacting’ by those who face a probable and horrible death if they contract the disease.
Jeremy Ache (79), who has a congenital heart disease, explained as he had his hair cut in a barbers shop in Froghampton, “the young ‘uns are all hiding away at home like frightened rabbits, but not us. We’re out and about as usual. You’ve got to show strength at times like this. That’s what the younger generations don’t understand. You’ve got to show you’re not afraid. That’s what we did with the Germans and that’s what we’ll do with the Chinese.”
Ida Firmway, who hasn’t left her council flat in Birchwood since 1982, displayed a similar sentiment as she blocked shop doorways and poked people in the eye with her umbrella in Cheshire town centre. “When I heard about the Corner Virus I knew I had to do something. You can’t just sit at home at a time like this.”
“It’s that old Dunkirk spirit like what we had in the war. I’m not afraid of catching a cold, just like I wasn’t afraid during the blitz. When the Germans dropped bombs on us we didn’t hide in bomb shelters, we got out and about and made the most of it.” Firmway, who celebrated her 94th birthday on Tuesday, went on to say, “life’s too short to worry about dying.”