There are a multitude of warnings on our highways and byways to be on the lookout for vulnerable, animal populations. Deer crossings, are the most ubiquitous in our neck of the woods, as are moose in Newfoundland. Lots of other unusual species have crossing signs which show how mammals at the top of the food chain care for those below them, if they don’t consider having them for dinner: Elephants in Namibia, Owls and Bat-eared Foxes in South Africa, Kangaroos and Koala in Australia, Howler Monkeys in Belize, Panthers in the Everglades, Penguins in New Zealand, Snakes in Guatemala, and Bats in Mexico to name a few. It’s good to see that we care so much for the vulnerable of other species as well as our own as signs warning of deaf and autistic children playing attest. Even before the ascendency of Donald Trump there were signs warning motorists of undocumented migrants crossing the highway.
Just like there is an app for almost everything you can imagine there seem to be warning signs for almost everything as well. For the longest time, I was convinced that even pedophiles had their own warning sign (Ped Xing) until someone informed me that it was a pedestrian crossing.
It did my heart a lot of good recently when I spotted a crossing sign for seniors. Just in time, prior to my entering that cohort when I’ll become frail and need a walker to get around and the incidences of seniors getting run over, while J walking, is becoming endemic.
Finally, motorists will be warned, like I was recently, allowing a mother duck and her babies to cross the street, to let a gaggle of seniors, all gingerly, to get to the other side, unharmed.
Yet these signs seem to be at odds with what my generation, commonly known as baby boomers, is being portrayed as in the media: active, vigorous, agile, adventurous, and sexy. Isn’t 60 the new 40 and 70 the new 50? Obviously, not for all of us, but I do wonder if some seniors living in the Cherryhill area of London might not feel offended by the sign.
As much as life expectancy continues to go up, at least for affluent people in the west, and nipping, and tucking can rejuvenate exteriors and Viagra still make gymnasts of us in the bedroom there is no denying that ailments such as Osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, and dementia are on the rise and taking their toll. Of course, that might be due to the direct correlation between living longer and that, given enough time, something will get to all of us eventually, but it seems odd that the ailments, traditionally associated with older individuals are starting to appear at a much younger age, therefore life style, diet and environmental factors are often cited as precipitating factors.
It seems anymore like a crap shoot if one will “go gentle into that good night,” or spend their final years “raging against the dying of the light.” Regardless of how we go, it is comforting knowing there is less of a chance it will be at the hands of an errant motorist.