We mustn’t neglect the fact that many people over 65 are segregated from the real world (the April 25 article “Dangers of age segregation exposed.”)

In terms of current family lifestyles and economic development, younger generations are naturally seeking to improve their own situation. Also, the education system divides students from others, whether for good or ill. Moreover, the once-fixed retirement age is also an obstacle. Thus, this age discrimination has led to an increasing number of elderly people leading lonely lives, even if they live in well-appointed facilities.

However, the coronavirus pandemic is leaving them feeling more uneasy, stressed and strained. What they really want is to stay safe and sound, which is based on the attachment they feel to their families and loved ones. The elderly in nursing homes feel more threatened by the transmission of the formidable virus every day, because they live in groups. What’s worse, their conditions tend to be comparatively frail.

Apart from any physically direct assistance, everyone can talk with them, via snail mail, the internet or cellphone, to ease their anxieties. We could also find out if their physical conditions are getting worse, through communication. The mass media, in covering the current news, should also offer elderly people more information about a wide variety of hobbies, food and comedians’ stories to strengthen their spirits. I believe that such attempts would change segregation into solidarity.

Anyway, we need to respect them, since we are also getting older.

I’m in my early 60s, so age segregation seems all the more pressing to me.

Mieko Okabe


In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.