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Shaken (not stirred) by COVID-19

The new James Bond movie ‘No Time to Die’ has been delayed. But coronavirus or no coronavirus, I plan to be around long enough to see Daniel Craig play Bond for the last time.

A a woman wearing a facemask amid fears of the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus walks past a poster for the new James Bond movie “No Time to Die” in Bangkok. The movie’s release has been delayed till November over fears the virus would limit its box-office appeal.
A a woman wearing a facemask amid fears of the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus walks past a poster for the new James Bond movie “No Time to Die” in Bangkok. The movie’s release has been delayed till November over fears the virus would limit its box-office appeal.
Getty

As a member of the at-risk group identified as being most endangered by the coronavirus, I’d like to go on record saying this is “No Time to Die.”

Especially not with the release of a new James Bond movie by that name now delayed over concerns of the pandemic’s box-office impact.

I’ve been a 007 fan since my parents took us to the drive-in to see “Goldfinger,” and no matter what you say, Daniel Craig is the best James Bond since Sean Connery.

This is supposed to be the last time Craig plays the role, and COVID-19 or no COVID-19, I plan to live long enough to see “No Time to Die” in the theater.

If you think I’m being flip about a very serious subject, I’m not trying to be. Well, maybe just a little.

I take the coronavirus threat very seriously, probably like you, more seriously by the day, as our understanding evolves.

But I mention James Bond movies to make the point that “elderly” people such as myself, defined by public health officials in this particular crisis as anyone over the age of 60, still have plenty of reasons for which they would prefer to live — some less important than others.

That applies even to those of us with “underlying medical conditions,” because, as a 65-year-old with high blood pressure and asthma, it sometimes has felt these past few weeks that I might find myself marked with a big red X and left on the side of the trail as the rest of you cull the herd of its weak links.

There has been an undertone in many quarters that the coronavirus must not be all that serious if those in the gravest danger already are in the last quartile of their life expectancy.

This has been the first time I’ve found myself in the demographic group most likely to be written off, and I don’t much like it.

If nothing else, I’d like to attack this notion that we “seniors” are all out here just circling the drain, waiting for our number to get called.

Most of us understand we live in a society that places a higher value on youth. Having once been the beneficiary of those attitudes, we aren’t expecting a sudden reversal now that we’ve aged out.

But the deaths of older people can be tragic, too, as anyone who has lost a parent has probably learned.

I certainly don’t consider myself “elderly,” and from observation, very few people do, even those considerably “more elderly” than me.

I’m not elderly, I tell people. I’m just old.

My older friends even want to argue that point.

“If you’re old, what does that make us?” they’ll say.

It makes you old, I tell them.

Here’s the thing, though. None of them is looking to check out any time soon.

They’re working or, if retired, making plans. I can pretty much assure you those old folks who contracted the coronavirus on a cruise ship didn’t get on board thinking they were sailing into life’s sunset.

Even the people I might consider elderly find motivation in life’s daily challenges and aren’t expecting a global pandemic to prematurely end their run.

I’ve noticed the public conversation has changed considerably now that it’s better understood the infection is a risk to the broader population as well.

Now, there’s even attention being paid to how younger people can take steps to prevent transmitting the disease to us old farts.

“No Time to Die” is now set to debut in the U.S. around Thanksgiving. With any luck, everyone reading this will be around to join me in the theater.

Afterward, we can all go back to debating important stuff like who should be the next James Bond.

I’m thinking Idris Elba and Damian Lewis are both too old at this point.