Today it is rare to find a commercial dairy cow much older than seven or beef cattle above ten.
A study of the obituary pages not so many years ago, show living to seventy and eighty was the norm.
Today the same pages show living to our late 80s, and into our 90s and 100s it the new norm. The British clearly are living to a greater age, but what about ‘quality’?
Thankfully the Prime Minister is voicing the significance of the truth that those of us who are overweight are at greater risk of dying from the Corona Virus. As the most overweight country in Europe, and the fifth fattest in the world, clearly the death rate from Corvid 19 reflect this.
Perhaps now is the time to include in that conversation, however painful, our elderly. Are our loved ones in care homes, or living alone with daily visits, often from strangers attending to their basic needs, enjoying a ‘quality life’?
Many struggle with Alzheimer’s, incontinence and are often bedridden. But in today’s culture they are not allowed to drift away.
Any hint of a chest infection or heart flutter, they are whipped into hospital, pumped full of antibiotics or fitted with a pace maker, only to be sent back to face the same relentless, for some tortuous, routine.
Fortunately most are healthy and firing on all cylinders, but it is not always the case. I am not alone in believing that for many the virus has come as a blessed relief. We must no longer avoid discussing both these topics.
Six weeks ago, woodcarver Roy Martin set to work creating a special plaque that would memorialise healthcare workers' response to the Coronavirus crisis.
The design portrays an NHS 'angel' complete with a face mask, and decorated with the distinctive rainbow, and a dove depicting hope. Crafted from Sussex oak sourced from Wenban Smith in Worthing, it could be replicated and sold to raise funds for charity.
"The design elements were inspired by the idea that NHS nurses are 'angels without faces'," Roy explained. "The woodcarving is based on images of NHS staff fighting the virus on the frontline. My idea was to craft something that captures the incredible care and kindness they've shown in these tough times."
As a local tradesman, Roy has felt the effects of the global pandemic, as his business reduced dramatically. This project became an opportunity to put his hands to good use for a particularly worthy cause, and Roy has spent over 300 hours working on it during the lockdown.
He paid tribute to John Nicholas 'Reproduction', whose French Polishing skills added the final touches, and his landlord who granted a three-month rent 'holiday' for his workshop.
"I wanted to make the most of this time," said Roy, who has been honing his craft since he was 15 years old. "Work is difficult right now and I wanted to use my time to create something tangible that showed my appreciation, and hopefully make some money for charity."
Roy hopes to give the plaque to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, so he can present it to the hospital which cared for him and saved his life as he battled the virus.
Roy concluded, "If the Prime Minister is willing to accept my work, we may have the opportunity to make people smile. The NHS and key workers deserve recognition, I hope we can give them a lasting ‘Thank You."