Skip to main content
// //

NICOLE BENGIVENO/The New York Times

Keep your Opinions sharp and informed. Get the Opinion newsletter.

From the Comments is designed to highlight interesting and thoughtful contributions from our readers. Some comments have been edited for clarity. Everyone can read the comments but only subscribers will be able to contribute. Thank you to everyone furthering debate across our site.

Readers respond: Not okay, boomer: Tensions mount between generations as some seniors resist social distancing

Story continues below advertisement

I could say the same about the young people who continue to party, or the thirty- and fortysomethings who do not keep a one- to two-metre distance.

A lot of people are not following the guidelines but it crosses all age groups. –ThinkAboutIt42

This is not generational as much as selfish people of various ages acting selfishly. This includes the hoarders of all stripes. –Carpetcrawler

Contrary to popular belief, not all boomers are such selfish prats. We are 61 and 63 and home-isolating – would not dream of going to the gym right now, or even to the local mall, etc. –against the wind

I haven’t been to Zumba or the pool in over a month because of my fear of contracting this virus.

Gyms are the perfect breeding grounds for viruses and just aren’t worth it. Now it’s a long walk or cycle until this dreaded pandemic is over. –Anne2301

A trainer at the gym told me you can get a pretty good workout just from squats, push-ups and lunges – all of which can be done in your living room. I’m finding lots of home workouts on social media, too, to switch it up. –GenX65

Story continues below advertisement

I am going to work in an essential service, enduring the gratuitous condescension of a leisure class that can afford to idle in self-congratulatory solitude at home. –C. Parsons

Isolating yourself is also a form of selfishness. If you really wanted to help others, you’d volunteer at a food bank. –ConservativeForLife

Nothing to do with age – only hubris, which is equally spread among young and old, rich and poor, male and female and across all ethnicities. –Goshreally

‘Hospitals should not be the backstop for poor planning and leadership.’ Readers react to the latest measures to fight COVID-19, plus other letters to the editor

‘Imagine chocolate pudding was smeared all over this glass table.’ Readers consider the bidet versus toilet paper, COVID-19, plus other letters to the editor

‘I hope … our home and native land will let us back in.’ Readers cancel holiday travel amid COVID-19 fears, plus other letters to the editor

Michael Francis McElroy/NYTNS

This is not a generational thing, it is an attitude. I have seen postings of millennials out at bars on the weekend, even sharing drinks. That doesn’t give us the right to vilify all millennials … or boomers.

I think it is fair to say that the majority of people agree with social distancing, based on what is reported on volumes at malls, restaurants, etc. –fbbobby

Well, if that’s the case, it doesn’t reflect my 65- to 70-year-old friends. But if it did, then they are ultimately responsible for themselves, as is anyone who joins them at the gym or the restaurant.

Story continues below advertisement

Picking up a bottle of wine combined with social distancing and hand hygiene is no worse than picking up your latte at the now tableless Starbucks – which non-boomers are still fine with.

Personally, I’m exercising outdoors and otherwise hunkering down for the next week or two as events unfold.

They won’t be cruising any time soon. Those floating petri dishes have a well-earned reputation from years gone by, let alone now. –whengoodmendonothing

I think the point is during this crisis, we aren’t just responsible for ourselves, we are responsible for each other. –Pimms

I am the parent and I am the one haranguing my millennial children to be safe.

Not the other way around. –NornIreland

Story continues below advertisement

This article explains how despite best efforts by governments, there are always enough people around who will ignore rules and recommendations and spread the virus. –zuglo9

The nice thing about living alone is that I don’t have to worry about someone else bringing the virus into the house. Once I wash my hands, I’m done.

The bad thing about living alone is that no one will know if I have an accident and can’t reach the phone or fall into a coma. –Layla4

I don’t see this as being an age thing. I’m 70 and have been finding the exact opposite situations. All my older friends are taking this very seriously, cancelling trips and getting ready to shelter in place, while some of my younger friends seem to barely know it’s going on.

One 24-year-old granddaughter of a close friend still thinks her wedding in Mexico is going to go off without a hitch in about four weeks, and that everyone will still be attending. She’s currently mad at granny for “being so negative” by encouraging her to scale the wedding down and make it local under the circumstances. –WillieJoe1

The millennials are hoarding our toilet paper. –HW01

Story continues below advertisement

I’m a 73-year-old boomer who knows that COVID-19 is far more serious for me than for younger people. I’d be surprised if any 70-year-old who knew that getting the disease meant almost a 1 in 10 chance of dying would be as insouciant as the examples given.

On the contrary, over the past week I've had several younger people offering to shake hands. I bow.

But I can’t resent millennials’ general resentment. They have a tough row to hoe. Or rather, we have had an easy one. –Pacific16

I’m not sure about the sentiment that millennials have it so tough. I’m a boomer. I think my parents had more opportunity than I did. Inheritances were still common for them, but not in my generation. Boomers’ kids sometimes get some help from their parents. I, and the young people I knew then, lived in quite profound poverty by today’s standards, although we didn’t think of it that way. There was much less to “want” back then. A friend and I use to walk downtown for 25-cent beers, share a grilled cheese sandwich at a coffee shop on the way home, then walk home.

Those of you who are older, look back and remember where you lived at 22. Mattress on the floor? Mismatched dishes? Limited wardrobe? Radio? TV? Stereo? Shared accommodation? Shared bathroom? Guitar? Got a raise to $1.50 when minimum wage went up? Sure, it was easier to go around in crappy jeans and shoes, because everyone else was dressed the same – by necessity or choice.

I don’t like this “Ok boomer” sentiment, which I think comes from people imagining their grandparents lived in a nirvana. Perhaps we need to be a little more blunt about the “good old days” when, if you were a woman, you couldn’t even get a car loan. –PagHoward

Story continues below advertisement

Passengers watch as the Westerdam cruise ship arrives at the port in Sihanoukville on Cambodia's southern coast on February 13, 2020, where the liner had received permission to dock after being refused entry at other Asian ports due to fears of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

TANG CHHIN SOTHY/AFP/Getty Images

Every boomer or person I know over 50 is either self-isolating or has cancelled their travel plans. They are staying in and not going to the casino or anywhere else with lots of people.

I even know a couple, who have been semi-retired for eight years, now have to go and get jobs because their investments have tanked. People can’t see their grandchildren and the seniors centres are closed for recreation and socializing.

Sure there are some, old and young, who are not abiding by the rules, but please do not single out boomers when there is already so much prejudice. –cellogirl56

I’m a boomer, and I’m seeing this in my boomer friends. Last Saturday, I was invited to a dinner party. When I declined and explained that people are being told to self-isolate, I was fully criticized as being alarmist. Many of the boomers I know have good incomes in retirement and travel all the time, so there would have been at least a few there who would have just gotten back from Europe or other locales. As well, we stopped going to the gym two weeks ago, but up until yesterday, when the gym was closed, apparently the place was full of seniors during the day. I read recently about a human tendency toward “normalcy bias,” and I’m seeing so much of this during this crisis. –Cat2Prin

I begged off a couple of events because I have had a bit of a head cold for a while (but no COVID-19 symptoms), so I respect your decision not to attend. I have also been suggesting to people with compromised immune systems that they be careful. Having said that, I would say that some people have a tendency to normalcy bias, while others have a tendency to overreact – subsequent events will always appear to suggest that one or the other was appropriate, but neither overreaction nor excessive complacency are ideal. My 97-year-old uncle still wants me to visit. While I am not going to do so, I still admire his attitude, which combines a desire to live his life with a degree of fatalism. –R Ec

The wipeout in the financial markets will hurt everyone, but hurts retirees the most because they will have less time to recover their losses.

Their window for enjoying life is narrowing further, even for the healthy ones. Let them enjoy what time is left. They aren’t so risk-averse as the rest of us. –HabFan410

Stupidity is not age specific! –Jack Chiavarini

Keep your Opinions sharp and informed. Get the Opinion newsletter. Sign up today.

In the interests of public health and safety, our coronavirus news articles are free for anyone to access. However, The Globe depends on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe to globeandmail.com. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.

Your subscription helps The Globe and Mail provide readers with critical news at a critical time. Thank you for your continued support. We also hope you will share important coronavirus news articles with your friends and family. In the interest of public health and safety, all our coronavirus news articles are free for anyone to access.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies