Invited Seminar Talk
Who Will Remember COVID-19? Demographic Memory after a Global Pandemic
Laboratory of Digital and Computational Demography, March 01, 2022
Mallika Snyder from the University of California, Berkeley presented the first estimates of the temporal extent of COVID-19-associated demographic memory for bereaved relatives in multiple European countries.
Millions of people have lost a relative to COVID-19. Many bereaved kin are likely to be alive well into this next century, contributing to “demographic memory”, the survival of individuals witness to a particular event. This may prolong collective grief as well as preserve memory of a crisis. Demographic memory has not yet been studied in the context of COVID-19, or any multi-country mortality crisis, however. This talk presents the first estimates of the temporal extent of COVID-19-associated demographic memory for bereaved relatives in multiple European countries. Our preliminary findings show that while bereaved kin are expected to form a relatively small proportion of national populations by 2100, up to 25 percent of bereaved grandchildren will still be alive in some countries, suggesting the long duration of demographic memory and significant long-term impacts of the pandemic on kinship networks.
Mallika Snyder is a PhD Candidate in Demography at UC Berkeley, currently visiting the MPIDR Laboratory of Digital and Computational Demography. Her work explores how population-level mortality is experienced at the individual level as kin loss, and what impacts these experiences may have on surviving relatives. More details about her research at the intersection of computational demography, mortality, and kinship can be found on her website.