10. Our views on aging will change
Coronavirus has, at least in the short term, reinforced ageist stereotypes, including the notion that older people are frail and should be “segregated and isolated,” says Dr. Thomas.
The virus and the economic downturn are also inflaming intergenerational conflict.
Some “younger people see older people as the reason they have to sacrifice,” says Prof. Carstensen. At the same time, Ms. Goodman notes, “younger people are being blamed for being irresponsible” with regard to social distancing.
Still, Prof. Carstensen says the pandemic has also unleashed countervailing trends that may ultimately change our views of aging for the better.
It helped fuel the election of Joe Biden, who, at 77, is poised to become the oldest president in U.S. history, a development that contradicts the notion that older adults are weak or frail.
Adding to that view are surveys and studies that show what many are noticing in their own lives: that older adults are psychologically more resilient in the face of the disease than younger people are, says Prof. Carstensen.
As with past crises, including Sept. 11, psychologists are finding that people across generations are focusing on what matters most to them, including relationships, she says.
Amid Covid, Ms. Goodman says, “there are some signs of a deeper understanding of how we need each other.”
Yep, kids voted for Biden because he was old! Meanwhile, the fact that this whole travesty is making young people resent The Olds is... something we should maybe worry about at some point in the future.
Look at this charming little old man of color in his tiny house. Look how contented he is.
Will Johnstone - "The Taxpayer", 1936