Come Collect Your (Unvaccinated) Nana & Papa — They Are Clogging Up The ER And Dying

by Elizabeth Broadbent
Originally Published: 
Scary Mommy and Morsa Images/Getty

Boomers manufactured a climate crisis, scammed us into crippling loan debt, forced us into low-paying shit jobs, then called us lazy. They’ve banked on their eternal youth — remember when they repurposed The Who’s “My Generation” for a car commercial, we laughed, and they got super pissy, refusing to acknowledge their fucked-up confluence of misplaced rebellion, advanced age, and late-stage capitalism? Blink-182’s “What’s My Age Again?” applies to the social security crowd, at least in title. So no shock that they refuse to acknowledge their advanced age increases their chances of getting very, very, sick with COVID-19. As much as we talk about older Americans, COVID-19, and death, many, many Americans over sixty haven’t been vaccinated. Like, vast numbers of them. Like, United States counties with more than ten percent of their population both over sixty and unvaxxed.

“We have swaths of populations in counties who are healthy Americans, over 60, who are not vaccinated,” Claire Hannan, executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers, told The New York Times. “These people are at extreme risk, and they don’t realize it.”

Did you hear that, Carl, Susan, and Linda? If you don’t get vaxxed, you’re gonna die.

In fact, older Americans may be the reason Delta looks so deadly. We have a lot more seniors without full vaccine protections than other wealthy countries. Unvaxxed seniors are rare in Canada, Britain, and Spain. Public health experts think that this may be why Delta seems so deadly in the United States: our unvaxxed Boomers are clogging our ERs, then dropping dead. One thing in this pandemic hasn’t changed. Older Americans, The New York Times says, “still account for most COVID-19 deaths.”

Yes, Linda: Older Americans Really Are At Higher Risk

According to the CDC, Boomers are four to six times more likely than 18-29 year-olds to be hospitalized with COVID-19. Members of the Greatest Generation are nine to fifteen times more likely to be hospitalized. Do you really want to go to the hospital? Do you know what happens there, Linda? They stick you in isolation and force tubes into your lungs. It’s called intubation (tubes, lungs, doesn’t take a brain surgeon). It’s by all accounts incredibly unpleasant and not at all like the time you lazed around on painkillers watching Days of Our Lives after they removed your gallbladder.

But let’s talk about dying, since older Americans remain convinced they’re immortal, except when it comes to fixing climate change. Boomers are thirty-five to ninety-five times more likely to die of Covid than 18-29 year-olds. That is a much higher chance. Fact check: there is no fountain of youth, and Maybelline can cover your wrinkles, but it can’t actually de-age you, Debbie.

For a generation that’s embraced Botox so much, you’d think injections would be par for the course by now. And just so we’re not being misogynist, Pfizer does manufacture the pill that makes your wang work, so why don’t you give their vaccine a try?


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Mother Should I Trust The Government?

Talking about the percent of older Americans who are vaccinated is difficult: overall, Boomers and the Greatest Generation have the best numbers. Boomers are 80.3-94.2% likely to be fully vaccinated, and those older than seventy-five are 89.1% likely to be vaxxed. The percentage of unvaxxed older Americans isn’t an issue. Yes, Boomers, pat yourselves on the back and hand out those participation medals you love so much. But the pockets of unvaxxed older Americans remains dangerous. In the Northeast, though the population is older, most older Americans are vaccinated. In large parts of the South — we’re side-eyeing you, Florida — and in parts of the Midwest, more than ten percent of the population is over sixty and unvaxxed. That’s where all the Delta surge deaths are coming from.

And why oh why won’t these people get vaccinated? An AARP study found 47% of those seniors who didn’t plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine cited distrust of the government as a key factor in their decision. Yes, you all took Pink Floyd to heart. We understand. I guess we’re all just bricks in the wall. However, at least we won’t die of Covid, so we’re alive, and this metaphor is getting unwieldy, but that’s all to say: get a fucking vaccine, old people.

Moreover, another study found that older Americans who relied on “social media, other internet/webpages, and family/friends as the main information source on COVID-19” were less likely to say they’d get vaxxed. Basically: Boomers got on YouTube. They shared memes. Debbie read on Linda’s Facebook page that vaccines are a conspiracy to make us all magnetic, and God forbid the government give us all magnetic powers!

Or it’s a giant game of telephone. Robert says to Debbie that he doesn’t know if he’s getting vaxxed because Donald Trump and microchips, so Linda tells David that Robert said he’s not getting vaxxed because of… and so on. That’s how you end up with a whole county full of unvaccinated old people. Bingo games and bowling leagues. Do they still do that? No, it’s old ladies gossiping in line at Wal-Mart and old men in trucker hats shooting the shit in the lumber aisle. And church. Definitely church.

But these pockets of unvaccinated older Americans have dangerous implications — far more than just affecting them. They create pocket surges, and those infect other, younger, healthier Americans. Kids can’t get vaccinated yet. If Delta’s raging through an unvaxxed Boomer population, it’s just a short hop over to the grands… and the schools.

Not only are we increasing death rates in older populations, those populations are infecting others — and increasing their death rates through high community transmission. Moreover, these unvaccinated older adults are far more likely to hog hospital beds and clog up emergency rooms. They’re a vulnerable population that’s remaining willfully unvaxxed despite the risks.

They all need to be vaccinated. And soon. North Dakota sent a letter to every unvaccinated person over age sixty. But huge pockets of them remain unvaxxed, more than ten percent in many counties. “We have really tried to get them vaccinated… There just seems to be a lack of trust in public health and government, and even a lack of trust of medical professionals,” said Molly Howell, the immunization director for the North Dakota Department of Health.

And they call us selfish.

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