Why It’s So Hard to Talk to Your Parents About the Coronavirus (and Vice Versa)

When it comes to the pandemic, people in their 40s, 60s and 80s speak different languages. And it’s making communication even more difficult than usual

The panicked phone calls began in early March.

They came from the adult children of several of my patients, worried that mom and dad, like many in their generation, were blithely disregarding the growing clamor for social distancing and putting themselves at risk.

“Life must go on!” one patient, a war veteran and widower, had told his son,...