I’m mystified by Danielle Steinman’s April 5 Maine Voices column, “Even in this confusing time of coronavirus, it’ll be OK, boomer.” If it was meant to be funny, it sadly missed the mark. It is mean-spirited, derogatory and prejudicial. Surely, in these tense and frightening times, humor should bring us together and lighten our loads, not put down any group based on an immutable characteristic like age.

Many of the people – scientists, epidemiologists, health care workers and public servants – we count on in this dreadful pandemic are “boomers.” Food banks, blood banks and election boards are shorthanded because the senior volunteers are now sidelined, heeding medical advice.

I am a “boomer” with degrees in public health and a pretty good understanding of epidemiology and good health practices. Like many seniors, I pay attention to accurate sources of information, am adjusting my behavior, and am learning to use the new technologies.

I question the wisdom of the editor who ran this column. It dismisses and denigrates a large proportion of your readers and subscribers. By referring to “your” boomer, it implies that we older people are not in your audience.

I have been a loyal reader of the Press Herald for 20 years; I have never felt so disappointed, dismissed and insulted by any other piece in the paper. I ask Ms. Steinman and the editors to try to make a more positive, inclusive contribution to this challenge that we all, regardless of age, now face.

Susan Payne, MPH, Ph.D.

Cape Elizabeth

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