Letter: Considered vulnerable to Covid-19, but forced to work says 60+year-old pensionless pensioner

This reader said it’s time the government gave assurances to the 1950’s-born women who are forced to work due to the last minute change to pension age, but appear to be in the vulnerable category for Covid-19

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OnTheWight always welcomes a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below.

Cathy Elobeid shares a copy of an email she sent to the Isle of Wight MP, Bob Seely this morning Cathy said she was concerned that she didn’t receive the usual auto-reply, or a reply to an email sent on 22nd February. Ed

We are the over 60s pensionless pensioners. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised we are vulnerable for Coronavirus and have been advised to avoid crowds and public transport.

How are we supposed to be able to do this when we have to continue to work? Many of us work in a crowded environment, staying away from crowds is not an option.

Many care for elderly parents and grandchildren. Your government should be advising us, on how we are supposed to follow WHO guidelines.

We’d gladly stay at home and not risk infection and passing the virus on, but sadly as we have been denied our pensions for six years, this is just not possible.

We need to travel to work
How can we stay away from public transport when we need to travel to work?

People are being advised to work from home where they can, we can’t look after sick patients, the elderly, or serve customers at home!

Who pays the bills?
What are we to do about hospital appointments for some very debilitating medical conditions? If we’re sent into quarantine, who pays the bills?

Same question if we have to self-isolate?

Can’t claim sick pay
We don’t go to work we don’t get paid, we can’t claim SSP as we’re not yet sick. We can’t claim SSP unless we earn enough when we do get sick.

Many over 60s are caring for their elderly parents, going out to work we could be carriers, no matter how many times we wash our hands.

It is time the government gave assurances to the over 60s who appear to be in the vulnerable category as this virus strikes.

The virus is taking hold
I look forward to hearing your views on this matter with some urgency as the virus is taking hold, and your reply to my email on 22nd Feb.

I acknowledge your auto reply says your team reply in order of priority, however there are over 9,000 1950’s-born women on the Island, waiting to know what you have to say to us.

Monday, 9th March, 2020 6:40pm


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11 Comments on "Letter: Considered vulnerable to Covid-19, but forced to work says 60+year-old pensionless pensioner"

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What a very unpleasant comment mariner58, no need for it. The government needs to make up it’s mind if women and men over 60 are classed as ‘elderly and vulnerable’or fit, healthy and raring to go in the world of work. The letter writer is correct in that many women and some men are not only working but main carers for other family members who are even… Read more »

The writer is playing fast and loose with facts. The WHO defines those aged over 65 as vulnerable not, as claimed, those over 60. Even with the new adjusted retirement ages people aged 65 and over this year qualify for their pension. I know, because I’m one of the ones affected by it, but you dont hear me complaining.


When was it ever fair that women got their pension five years before men, who have a lower life expectancy anyway. What the Govt. should have done was bring the pension age down to 60 for all. I find it incredible that this letter writer has managed to make Covid 19 a WASPI issue.


What an opportunist way to twist a national issue to suit your own needs! Writer should be ashamed.

I have some sympathy with the idea that workers over 60 may be allowed to stay at home, given the higher mortality rate. I wouldn’t imagine yet, though, with only one case on the island. And everyone is going to have to wait as the government responds to events. It is pretty shameful to conflate this with pension changes to women. Why are only the 9,000 female… Read more »
Mark L Francis

I am 61. I am not elderly and vulnerable nor am I, as yet in receipt of a pension. Unless stricken down, I will continue to go to work even if I have to continue cycling 14 miles a day to do it. However, if the Government wants to pay me £30k for being a WASPI womyn I will wear a wig and call myself “Mary.”

Angela Hewitt
to ukdav and mariner58 – women have been oppressed by MEN for thousands of years and still would be if certain men were given the chance. Women are needed to care for everyone including themselves so that they can continue to care for everyone else including the men. Women should be allowed to retire early because they are the main carers. Grandchildren, children, elderly parents, husbands! We… Read more »

@Angela Hewitt

According to Carers Uk, there are 6.5 million carers in the UK 58% of carers are women and 42% are men.


Well you win the prize for most opportunist excuse for not going to work today. Well done.


A ‘pensionless pensioner’ is an oxymoron (emphasis on the last two syllables) and this is the first time that I’ve read it suggested that Covid-19 is a sexist virus affecting 60 year old women more than 60 year old men!
Grow up!


Mariner58…You are definitely a 1st class J Arthur. Keep the Say-lotch closed and try not to be a gilly potter all the time.