Stories abound of many older Americans handling the pandemic with the kind of resilience and aplomb my mother showed… My father’s cultural calendar far exceeds my own with Zoom lectures ranging from the cast of the Netflix miniseries “Unorthodox” to human rights activist Natan Sharansky, which he views in between Silver Sneakers exercise classes also streamed in from various sites to the comfort of his living room.
Unlike teenagers and those in their 20s who have grown up with the immediate gratification of social media “likes,” those 65 and older are more seasoned at waiting and can tolerate patience in a way that is hard for many of the rest of us, who were done with this pandemic months ago.
When Patrick Klaiber, a doctoral student at the University of British Columbia, and colleagues collected daily surveys from people ages 18 to 91 during the pandemic, they found that older generations reported handling the stress of covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, more effectively than those who are younger.
This disparity may be partly explained by seniors often having fewer work-family conflicts than those with younger children. But others recognize that living in one’s later years gives perspective that difficult times will pass eventually, and that there is experience to draw upon to help remain resilient during hardship and challenges.