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Vaccine FOMO makes India’s seniors do their best | India News

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Country legend Dolly Parton – who recently broke into a version of Jolene that read: ‘Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine / I beg you, don’t hesitate / Because once you’re dead it’s a little late’ – she would be proud of his contemporaries in India.
Contrary to stereotypes of the elderly, cautious, slow-moving, and particularly vulnerable to vaccine misinformation, what emerged was a depressing history reversal one might have expected. The country’s elderly people have been quick to speed up, facing long lines, technological setbacks and even camping since dawn outside vaccination centers. ‘Fear of missing out’ or FOMO has taken on a whole new level among the elderly. As the race for the jab intensifies, so does the sense of urgency for this ticket back to normal life.
“I wanted to free myself from slavery!” exclaimed P. Venkatraman, jokingly after his “vaccine walk” in Mumbai. Although only half jokingly. The 64-year-old man who took a herd of 14 other in their sixties and seventies from a heart support group he founded, explains: “We live with comorbidities and our families want us to stay locked up at home. It is a human need for us at this age to go out and socialize. Since the numbers were increasing once again, I wanted to get vaccinated as soon as possible. ”
For Devjeet Bhuiya in Kolkata, getting an appointment within hours of launch was as good as “winning a lottery!” shout. “I was so sick of living in fear that I wasn’t even interested in controversies about vaccines. I was ready for anything as long as I could get on with my life, ”said the 72-year-old.
This all-consuming approach to the coveted take has also been dripping “stress” for those on the other side of the great divide. “Getting the vaccine is not a race, and when you get it it is not an indicator of your worth. We will all understand, in time, ”Chennai-based political analyst Swarna Rajagopalan tweeted last week. She dreads with every conversation that circles around, ‘Did you get it?’ or ‘Did you make a date? it could make her “too sick for the vaccine at this rate.”
But what do you say to G. Sethuraman, a 70-year-old retired industrialist from Hyderabad, who spent hours over the weekend obsessively updating CoWin’s website for a quote, when he says, “At this age, I understand impermanence. and how fragile life is more than ever. And I don’t want it to end like this. ”
Marathon runner KR Chandran embraced competitive running at age 70. Now 76, he says: “Being in line for two hours was no problem. We brought chai, dhokla… we also entertained others who were waiting in line, ”Chandra said beaming. He’s also relieved that he no longer needs to hide his surreptitious visits to the bank or neighborhood park from his eager children living abroad.
Raising parents isn’t new, but the pandemic certainly put a new spin on it. Mana Dey is waiting for her chance to join the jab club after her daughter told her to wait until the crowd subsides.

Times of India

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