Dr. Louise Aronson on COVID-19 and Ageism

UCSF Osher Center integrative geriatrician, Louise Aronson, MD, MFA, the author of the New York Times best seller Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, and Reimagining Life, has published multiple articles on ageism and COVID-19. In her New York Times Opinion piece, “‘Covid-19 Kills Only Old People.’ Only? Why are we OK with old people dying?” Dr. Aronson interrogates the ways that society deprioritizes the well-being of older people. She warns, “when we accept the second-class citizenship of an entire category of human being, we set a precedent for treating others with the same disregard.” Dr. Aronson takes a broader look at how our health systems are perpetuating and addressing inequity in her article in The Atlantic, “Ageism Is Making the Pandemic Worse: The disregard for the elderly that’s woven into American culture is hurting everyone.” In Vox, Dr. Aronson reflects on the criticism waged against older people’s response to the pandemic in her article “Coronavirus reveals just how little compassion we have for older people: Why our aging population might be ignoring our pleas to isolate themselves.”