Manche ältere Leute lassen sich partout nicht impfen. Das ist eine logische Antwort auf die Midlife-Crisis

Das Leben ist zum Fürchten. Da hilft manchmal nur blinde Naivität – oder höchste Abgeklärtheit.

© Bereitgestellt von Neue Zürcher Zeitung Beweglich bleiben sollte man in jedem Alter. Marko Djurica / Reuters

Viele ältere Semester sind in einem anderen Europa aufgewachsen. Auf einem analogeren, einem dreckigeren, ländlicheren, mancherorts gar zerstörten Kontinent. Wie man damals noch rauchte! Wie die Autos stanken! Die Küchen waren schummriger, die Decken niedriger, die Schlote meist ohne Filter, und das Penicillin hatte man eben erst entdeckt.

Die Grossmütter wussten damals, warum Seife wie Brot zum Leben gehört. Man wusch sich die Hände, bevor man sich an den Tisch setzte. Das galt für alle fünf Enkelkinder. Genauso war den Grossvätern klar, dass der Schnaps nicht nur zum Trinken gut ist. Einer kranken Kuh gab man literweise Selbstgebrannten. Vorausgesetzt, man hatte diesen nicht, was man natürlich lieber tat, am Sonntag in den Kaffee geleert. Und den Rest dem Bruder mitgegeben, für die Morgenpause in der Fabrik.

Partout nicht impfen lassen

Heute aber sorgen sich auffallend viele Leute, die in solch raueren Zeiten aufgewachsen sind, wegen möglicher Langzeitfolgen der Impfung. Die meisten tun dies in nüchternem Ernst. Sie erinnern sich an schlimmere Zeiten. Und der Gedanke, dass man nun innert eines Jahres der halben Weltbevölkerung dieselben Stoffe verabreicht, macht sie stutzig. Andere gehen einen Schritt weiter, sie wollen sich partout nicht impfen lassen, obwohl manche von ihnen aufgrund ihres Alters oder wegen Vorerkrankungen gefährdet sind.

Da könnte man nun einwenden: Fasst euch ein Herz! Bis ihr die Achtzig erreicht habt, kämpft ihr sowieso mit Zipperlein! Und wenn, dann habt ihr noch Glück gehabt. Besser, ihr widersteht diesem Virus jetzt, habt ein paar gute Jahre – was danach kommt, kann euch später kümmern. Doch vielleicht tut man Senioren damit unrecht; denn man kann die Sache auch anders sehen: als eine Art Verlaufskurve der Angst. Sie fängt in der Kindheit ganz unten an, auf der Amplitude null, schwingt sich dann hoch zur Midlife-Crisis, ergibt sich wieder und mündet hoffentlich in eine neue Gelassenheit, wenn das Lebensende tatsächlich näher rückt.

Es ist dabei nur natürlich, dass sich die Jugend für unsterblich hält. Wie wollte man anders die Welt entdecken als mit Furchtlosigkeit? Da muss es auch nicht stören, dass der Mut vor allem Naivität verrät. In jungen Jahren lebt man im Tag und für den Tag, lange kennt man nichts anderes. Nur am Rand ahnt das Kind, dass man Märchen ernst nehmen sollte: dass im Dunklen tatsächlich Böses lauern kann. Wie etwa ein Virus.

Neue Freiheiten

Irgendwann aber, am besten noch vor vierzig, sollte man Angst bekommen. Anderenfalls macht man sich das Leben schwer – weil man es zu locker nimmt. Man hat von der Entdeckung der Endlichkeit aber auch etwas. Sie füllt die Existenz an, alles beginnt zu flirren vor Chancen und Risiken, die jugendliche Langeweile vergeht. Der Blick auf den Zeithorizont lässt einen vernünftige Entscheidungen treffen, auch wenn sie schmerzen mögen. Eher noch muss man aufpassen, dass einem etwas vom Leichtsinn bleibt. Man will ja nicht ganz versauern, nur weil man in der Mitte des Lebens steht.

Einmal jedoch kann das kindliche «carpe diem» zurückkehren. Der schmalere Horizont älterer Tage schafft neue Freiheiten. Eine 99 Jahre alte Dame, der man kürzlich sagte, langsam müsse man ihren 100. Geburtstag zu planen beginnen, meinte: man solle warten. Bis dahin sei es ja noch weit. Und dann fing sie an, von Weihnachten in den Fünfzigern zu erzählen. Da habe man sich nur geschenkt, was man wirklich nötig gehabt habe. Sie strickt heute noch. Und vielleicht ist sie geimpft.

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