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Tale of two countries: attitudes towards older persons in Italy and Israel during the COVID-19 pandemic as seen through the looking-glass of the media
  1. Jacopo Fantinati1,
  2. Irina Sabin2,3,
  3. Silvia Crosignani1,
  4. Yael Zilbershlag4,
  5. Matteo Cesari5,
  6. Tzvi Dwolatzky2,3
  1. 1 Fellowship in Geriatrics and Gerontology, University of Milan, Milano, Italy
  2. 2 Geriatric Unit, Rambam Health Care Campus, Haifa, Israel
  3. 3 The Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel
  4. 4 Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Allied Professions - Ono Academic College, Kiryat Ono, Israel
  5. 5 Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, Milano, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jacopo Fantinati, Fellowship in Geriatrics and Gerontology, University of Milan, 20122 Milano, Lombardia, Italy; jacopo.fantinati{at}


The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the many challenges and difficulties of healthcare systems caring for older frail people. This public health crisis has indeed jeopardised the concept of the welfare state, in particular the right of older people to uncompromised healthcare. Together with the clinical challenges facing the geriatric patient and the organisational difficulties of the healthcare systems, sociocultural factors may have also played a substantial role in the strategies that countries have applied in coping with the pandemic. In this opinion article, we report attitudes towards the older populations of two countries, Italy and Israel, during the COVID-19 pandemic as viewed through the looking-glass of the media.

  • Aged
  • COVID-19

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  • Contributors All authors listed have made a substantial, direct and intellectual contribution to the work, and approved it for publication. Guarantor JF.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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