Lessons From the Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has profoundly changed the ways we work, learn, provide care to our young and older populations, socialize and engage with our neighbors and larger communities. Many of these changes occurred quite suddenly when adults and children of all generations were forced, because of shutdowns and travel bans around the world, into physical and social isolation. The pandemic prompted national conversations about many topics and challenges that all families have faced in their lives, exacerbated by the impact of Covid-19.

Early in the pandemic, aware that we had a fleeting window of time to examine our altered lives, we launched the New Map of Life: After the Pandemic project. We posted short observations about changes as they were occurring, from experts in academia, business, healthcare, the arts and elsewhere.

Now, more than a year since Covid-19 erupted, we’ve had time to analyze and reflect about the most significant and lasting changes that have occurred, and about what’s most needed to ensure healthier, longer lives. We’ve identified how the pandemic has sparked new innovations and solutions to longstanding problems related to caregiving, the digital divide across generations, the need for workplace flexibility, financial security and other issues.

In this series of articles, to be released over the coming weeks, we address each of these topics in depth, identifying the most pressing issues and seeking ways to promote positive change. The first is an article on bridging the digital divide for older adults by consulting research scholar Susan Nash.

To have them all delivered to your inbox, subscribe to our monthly Longevity Briefing newsletter.


Working to Connect Older Adults: A Digital Inclusion Progress Report

Imagine sheltering in place for a year, or more, without internet access. That is the situation for nearly 15 million adults aged 65 and up, or over one-quarter of the older population in the United States, estimated to be off-line.