Author name: narelle.warren@monash.edu

Falling off the cliff: Mythical sacrifice mirrored in Sweden’s COVID-19 response

By Carolina Johnson, Oberlin College Ättestupa is the Swedish word given to a number of steep cliffs. The myth of the ättestupa holds that in prehistoric Nordic times, older community members would throw themselves off a precipice for the sake of the greater good during famines or crises. The harrowing myth of ritual sacrifice has

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‘Weather-ing’ the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in the UK

By Brianne Wenning, Lisa Dikomitis, Kay Polidano and Christian Mallen, Keele University Few things are more stereotypically British than discussing the weather. A sense of national pride seems to pervades this discussion. In fact, during our time in the UK (as three of the co-authors grew up outside the UK), we have viewed it as

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Together at ‘The COVID Arms’: Socially connected while physically distanced

By Brianne Wenning, Lisa Dikomitis, Kay Polidano and Christian Mallen, Keele University   ‘We certainly FaceTime or Houseparty our daughters so we can see the grandchildren. We chat every day with them. So that can be half an hour or however long we’ve got’. The 73-year-old woman, living in England (UK), shared her experiences of the

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The Other Side of COVID-19: Ostracization and Guilt among Older Patients in India

By Anindita Chatterjee, Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Department of Anthropology, Brandeis University Anamika landed in Dubai on an October 2020 afternoon, and called her mother, Arpita, to let her know about her safe arrival.[1] Anamika’s brother, Mainak, resides in Pune. Arpita is 67 and her husband Manoshij is 77. Despite their old age, they preferred to live

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Window Work: Framing Eldercare in the Age of COVID-19

By Kristina Grünenberg, Line Hillersdal and Jonas Winther, Department of Anthropology and Center for Healthy Aging, University of Copenhagen. In this blogpost, we draw from our current fieldwork on the island of Ærø, a place which has branded itself as “the digital island”[1], to explore how care workers tinker with screens during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Going Viral: Metaphors for Managing an Emerging “Infodemic”

By Jonah S. Rubin and Abby Holloway, Knox College In February 2020, as public health authorities struggled to develop guidance for a rapidly spreading coronavirus, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros declared: “We’re not just fighting an epidemic, we’re fighting an infodemic” (WHO 2020a). In response, the WHO quickly put together a team of “mythbusters” dedicated to

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Risky business: how older ‘at risk’ people in Denmark evaluated their situated risk during the COVID-19 pandemic

By Amy Clotworthy and Rudi G.J. Westendorp Center for Healthy Aging (CEHA), Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen The COVID-19 pandemic has presented us with a unique opportunity to examine how societies perceive urgent biological risk, and how they manage population groups who may be susceptible to such risks (cf. Alaszewski 2015). When the World

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New traditions: A reflection on changed Easter traditions

By Danielle Corrie In this latest post in our ‘The Age of COVID-19’ series, author Danielle Corrie reflects on how pandemic-related restrictions changed her family’s Easter traditions. In doing so, she highlights how the traditions are kept alive through intergenerational connections and efforts. Easter comes and goes each autumn in Australia, yet this Easter (2020)

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As visiting restrictions continue, elders in Danish plejehjem are experiencing a ‘stolen spring’

By Amy Clotworthy, Center for Healthy Aging (CEHA), University of Copenhagen (Denmark) First published in 1940, Hans Scherfig’s The Stolen Spring (Det Forsømte Forår) is both a satirical crime novel and a wry social commentary. Through his description of a school’s sociocultural dynamics and how administrators handle the murder of a teacher, Scherfig pointedly criticises particular

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Aging and Social Justice:  A slow-motion virtual conference

By Celeste Pang, University of Toronto As we have all seen, COVID-19 has been a tip of an iceberg, exposing deep layers of social stratification and inequities. From the mass deaths in long-term care and nursing homes and exposure of the working conditions of care workers, to Black Lives Matter demonstrations and the violent responses

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