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Consumption, Markets & Culture ; 26(1):81-97, 2023.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-2235841


The global COVID-19 pandemic was the latest instance of a crisis of pleasure. Crises of pleasure are periodic eruptions of discontent when consumption is disrupted by external forces. In this case, the pandemic also disrupted expressions of identity on social media, where identity is made legible through conspicuous consumption on social media in the early 2020s. Drawing from six qualitative focus group interviews conducted in the summer of 2020, we analyze how social media users interpret the accounts they follow posting content that seemingly violates social distancing guidelines during COVID-19. We find that consumption during the pandemic was highly contested and surveilled, with participants describing the disciplining power of social media and their use of news and public health guidelines to inform their identities. Both trends illustrate how surveilled modes of consumption characterize the post-lockdown consumption reality, which is polarized and partisan leading towards hedonist and puritanical models.

BMC Geriatr ; 23(1): 23, 2023 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2196063


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in unprecedented challenges for older adults. Medicare enrollment was already an overwhelming process for a high fraction of older adults pre-pandemic. Therefore, the purpose of this qualitative study was to gain understanding from community organizations and stakeholders about their pre-pandemic and during-pandemic experiences while adapting to continue offering insurance advice to seniors, what resources are available to seniors, and what needs to be done to help seniors make higher quality insurance choices in the Medicare program. In addition, we wanted to explore how the COVID-19 pandemic may have changed the ways that these stakeholders interacted with Medicare beneficiaries. METHODS: We employed a qualitative strategy to gain a deep understanding of the challenges that these organizations may have faced while offering advice/counseling to older adults. We accomplished this by interviewing a group of 30 stakeholders from different states. RESULTS: Every stakeholder mentioned that some older adults have difficulty making Medicare decisions, and 16 stakeholders mentioned that their system is complex and/or overwhelming for older adults. Twenty-three stakeholders mentioned that Medicare beneficiaries are often confused about Medicare, and this is more noticeable among new enrollees. With the onset of the pandemic, 22 of these organizations mentioned that they had to move to a virtual model in order to assist beneficiaries, especially at the beginning of the pandemic. However, older adults seeking advice/meetings have a strong preference for in-person meetings even during the pandemic. Given that the majority of the beneficiaries that these stakeholders serve may not have access to technology, it was difficult for some of them to smoothly transition to a virtual environment. With Medicare counseling moving to virtual or telephone methods, stakeholders discussed that many beneficiaries had difficulty utilizing these options in a variety of ways. CONCLUSIONS: Findings from our interviews with stakeholders provided information regarding experiences providing Medicare counseling pre- and during-COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the barriers faced by older adults included a complex and overwhelming system, a strong preference for in-person meetings among beneficiaries, challenges with technology, and an increased risk of information overload and misinformation. While bias may exist within the study and sample, given that technology-savvy beneficiaries may not seek help from organizations our study participants work in, they show how the current Medicare system may impact vulnerable older adults who may need support with access to high-speed internet and digital literacy.

COVID-19 , Digital Divide , Humans , Aged , United States/epidemiology , Medicare , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communication
Consumption Markets & Culture ; : 1-17, 2022.
Article in English | Taylor & Francis | ID: covidwho-2087542