“This is the first pandemic to occur since the global population consisted of more people aged over sixty-five than under five” – Andrew Scott, co-author of The 100-Year Life.
With a focus on the elderly within media, social media and COVID-19 health care guidelines, the narrative of what it is like to be elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic has created a “gerontocidal language” according to Agescapes blogger and Gerontologist Martin Hyde.
Ageing populations, particularly those over seventy are being portrayed as in a spiral of decline and singled out for their higher mortality rate during COVID-19. While fatality rates for those over 80 years of age are higher than the global average, the highest at risk are for those with underlying medical issues, and importantly, not all people 65+ have these issues, and this is the problem with the decline narrative of ageing.
Source: Eisenberg, R 2020, Will COVID-19 Make the Decline Narrative of Aging Worse?, NextAvenue, viewed 13 May 2020, <https://www.nextavenue.org/covid-19-decline-narrative-of-aging/>
Image Source: NextAvenue