COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on Older People in Urban and Rural Contexts

COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on Older People in Urban and Rural Contexts

Parfenova O.A.

Senior Researcher, Sociological Institute, Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia

Petukhova I.S.

Senior Lecturer, Petrozavodsk State University, Institute of History, Political and Social Sciences, Department of Sociology and Social Work, Petrozavodsk, Russia

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Parfenova O.A., Petukhova I.S. COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on Older People in Urban and Rural Contexts. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2022. No 5. P. 71-80


The article is devoted to the analysis of the pandemic impact on the life of the older people in urban and rural contexts. Our study permits to conclude that the pandemic in a rural context has not increased social exclusion of the older people at the community level. In turn, in the urban context, the elderly faced severe spatial isolation and inability to maintain their usual daily lifestyle, which negatively affected their physical and psychological state. In terms of health care, many older people, both urban and rural, have been forced to cancel scheduled doctor visits and check-ups, postpone surgery indefinitely. The pandemic emphasized the infrastructure deficit in rural areas, when, after the cancellation of bus traffic, the villagers were actually cut off from shops and services. A striking trend during the pandemic has been a rapid digitalization (developing gadgets, transferring communication to an online format, searching for and consuming information on the Internet), which has affected both villages and city dwellers. We can see the growth of intergenerational and local solidarity expressed in the help from the younger generations of the family, volunteer associations in the city and the local community in the countryside.

COVID‑19 pandemic; self-isolation; older people in the city; older people in the countryside


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Content No 5, 2022