Today’s topic: What has the next generation learned from this pandemic?
We’re sharing our experiences, thoughts, and uncensored opinions during lockdown, quarantine, and self-isolation. For some of us, it’s DAY 73.
Tina F., Fairfax, #Virginia
We humans are all different, and yet we are made the same. Other than the color of our skin, we are all made of the same organs and limbs. It’s our world circumstances and the way our brain deals with them that affect us as we grow. Therefore, it’s quite impossible to pontificate about the next generation as a whole. Even if I just focus on the US, it would be impossible to make a generalization.
I am most concerned about the younger generation who witnessed their parents losing their jobs and living in fear of hunger and homelessness. And those whose parents were front-liners separated from their families. What about those who witnessed the death of a loved one from this virus?
Granted, they are not the children of war-torn countries, but #trauma is trauma, and it manifests itself both physically and mentally. And we must help prepare a coping mechanism for their future.
The one thing that the next generation all experienced together was when schools closed their doors and education came to a halt. Then the sudden frenzy to normalize remote education. Special-needs students did not have access to their resources and parents were forced to become educators.
So now I narrow this topic down further to Middle-Class America.
To the entitled generation of “Snow Flakes”: Maybe I’m being harsh, but my kids are part of that generation. We helicopter-parented them and protected them from the “bad world.” You know you did. Now many are graduating this year and they need to stand on their own feet and face their uncertain future.
Honestly, I think this #coronavirus is going to have a positive impact on this Gen-Z. They have been given a chance to stop and reassess everything they took for granted. Many have used their time creatively, from raps and videos to writing or baking with the blessed TikTok by their side. (FYI it too emerged from China).
These Gen-Zs have grown up thinking that life has revolved around them. Hopefully after they emerge from feeling sorry for themselves, they will rise because of this creativity. And let’s face it, the best lesson they have learnt is adaptability and resilience.
Charlie, Metro #Washington, DC
Heard some next-generation folks saying they want to turn “birding” into a Pokemon Go kind of game. Since they can no longer run around the commercial countryside looking for Pokemon sightings, they want to charge around the wilderness turning “birding” into the new Pokemon Go.
So, what do I think the next generation has learned from the pandemic? A fat load of nothing.
A Teenager’s Take
RafifJ, #Malaga, #Spain
I have my own opinions on what the next generation SHOULD learn from this pandemic…but that might be because I’m an opinionated mom. I decided to go to one of my sources of truth, an expert on the next generation: my 16-year-old son, Ramsey. He writes:
“Quarantine has been a long few months of stress, fear, and stupidity. The global COVID-19 pandemic has driven people to break laws, riot, and tweet unnecessary soundbites. With poor leadership throughout most of the world, we have reached approximately 5.5 million cases and 348,000 deaths globally. Since the first case in December 2019, the world has fallen apart into a near-dystopian nightmare.
As the world finally starts to gain some sanity, many governments have initiated lockdowns, some going as extreme as having tanks in the streets; however most lockdowns are not fully enforced. As people slowly lose common sense, all social distancing has been ignored and they are rapidly returning to beaches, parties, and packed crowds. Protests in Michigan have gotten violent, and in the more southern states, the blood of Jesus is apparently the only cure.
That being said, I have learned that society is not prepared for everything. I have also learned not to take regular things for granted – such as school, work, friends, family, etc. – as those are the things that keep us sane.”
Boomer and Alpha
RJD, #Beirut, #Lebanon
It’s 2035. Joe, a seasoned baby boomer, is chatting with a Generation Alpha teenager, Mira. Joe begins with the positive things that happened because he didn’t want to dampen Mira’s hopeful eyes with the negatives yet. He told her stories about Bernie Sanders, AOC, Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai, Edward Snowden. The, Mira asked him, “what about the Pandemic of 2020, what was that like?”
Joe went into a soliloquy that he couldn’t stop. It was as though he had been waiting 15 years for this moment.
“Mira, what I want you to focus on about that time is that no one should be at the mercy of any bigger entity, not a corporation, not big pharma, not Gates or Bezos, and not a government.
The Pandemic showed us how much inequality there was, not only on the economic level. Listen to the science and make sure that what you do is not motivated by political and financial advantage. There should always be a safety net for people, and no group or government should get excessive power. But during the Pandemic, we also saw so much help for the disadvantaged, homeless, poor, immigrants from good folk. This is something we had lost somewhere along the way at the turn of the century.
If you take anything from this conversation today, Mira, it is that your generation should be ready for future pandemics, as they might happen more often – this is due to my generation’s abuse of nature. You should have a system in place, just like we did when we grappled with nuclear war preparation when I was your age. This is the biggest threat that you will face.”
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