It is now consensus that what we owe our elderly during this pandemic is extended quarantine. On May 20 in the New York Post, for instance, in an impassioned op-ed, titled, “End New York City’s Lockdown Now!” David Marcus argues that the lockdowns are killing New York and need to be broken immediately. “It needs to end. Now.” But what of the elderly, the chief victims of the pandemic, what do we hope for them? Marcus offers one sentence: “The elderly and infirm can continue to be isolated.”
I assume Marcus wants the best for America’s elderly. But, no. No, they cannot continue to be isolated. Endless isolation is inhumane and deadly. It is a method of torture. A punishment inflicted upon the most depraved. It dehumanizes and is the essence of monstrosity.
“I am an unfortunate and deserted creature,” says Mary Shelley’s monster when abandoned by Dr. Frankenstein.“I look around and I have no relation or friend upon earth.” So, the creature takes revenge on his maker by murdering his loved ones, turning the scientist into a being just like him—alone, inhuman, monstrous—by casting him into the outer darkness of total loneliness.
Is endless quarantine really the best we can do for our loved ones?
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