How is ageism influencing debates over whether or not to “re-open” the nation amidst rising infections and economic fall out? What does caring for the elderly during the pandemic look like during the early pandemic? How is COVID-19 affecting how and what we communicate with those closest to us? Bernadette McBride, a registered nurse practitioner specializing in geriatric family practice and owner of Legacy Management and Tranquility Life Care, Dr. Sara McBride a Mendenhall Fellow at the US Geological Survey, and Dr. Yvonne Michael, associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health, discuss intergenerational dynamics in the pandemic and the effect of COVID-19 on the eldery. The group discusses the particular challenges facing the eldery during COVID-19 and the tension between the dangers of social isolation and the need to social-distance to prevent infections in vulnerable populations, like those in nursing homes. Dr. McBride talks about the difficulty of disaster communication and public trust during a time when the facts on the ground are changing quickly, especially in diverse populations. The conversation ranges from the population level, discussing the elderly as a vulnerable population, to the personal level, where the experts talk about the conversations they’ve been having with their friends, family, and coworkers about how to prepare for the potential effects of COVID-19. For further reading: “Exploring the barriers for people taking protective actions during the 2012 and 2015 New Zealand ShakeOut drills” “Uses and Gratification Theory”


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