The coronavirus pandemic has widely targeted older generations of Britons and those suffering from pre-existing conditions but is now slowly spreading to younger patients. Former BBC foreign correspondent Max Hastings urged his contemporaries to ensure they do not become “dead weight” on the NHS to ensure younger people are not forced to fork out money for the extra care the elderly will need. Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s World at One, Mr Hastings said: “In the short term, the most important thing is we mustn’t, the older folks, worry about the consequences, the idea of our getting ill or even dying.
“We’ve had so much that we have no grounds to complain. What we have to worry about is becoming a dead weight on the NHS. So the short term, that’s got to be the consideration.
“We are a very compassionate people, we don’t face the fact that all these stupendous sums have got to be paid by somebody and I for one, when I pop my cloggs, hate the idea my children and grandchildren are going to be the ones who pay.”
Mr Hastings insisted he is willing to make more financial sacrifices not to burden younger generations in the aftermath of the crisis as he urged older Britons to help to promote economic activities once the pandemic is over.
He continued: “All the forecasts say this crisis, in one form or another, is going to go on for the rest of the year, maybe even longer.
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“We must try to promote getting economic activity going again. If we, the elders, must pay an additional price for this then so be it.
“We’ve had so much and I don’t lay awake at night thinking about me or my wife dying, I think about what we are bequeathing or not bequeathing to our children and our grandchildren. And I’m terrified.
“There’s a cost for everything and the cost is stupendous of this.”
The former BBC correspondent insisted older Britons should be “kept awake at night” by the thought of younger generations seeing their future being destroyed as he dismissed comparisons between the battle against coronavirus and World War II.
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The former BBC journalist added: “I’m very wary about parallels with the Second World War.
“These days the young are not being asked to fight and to die. What they are instead being asked to do is keep on smiling while their economic futures are being trashed.
“And I think that’s what should be haunting us oldies in our beds.”
The coronavirus outbreak already resulted in thousands of Britons losing their jobs and the Government rolled out new measures as part of a rescue package to help the unemployed and the self-employed secure the financial support needed through benefits and universal credit.