The Coronavirus Generation


Day 156: Stay Safe Minnesota

The covid-19 may not make children as sick as adults, but it still could impact on their health and futures.

The New York Times reporter Jason DeParle has an interesting article titled The Coronavirus Generation. He writes “While the coronavirus was initially said to spare the young, that no longer appears to be true medically, and economically it never was — certainly not for the 10 million children below the poverty line and even larger numbers just above it. With hunger rising, classrooms closing and parental stress surging, the pandemic is a threat to low-income children of epochal proportions, one that could leave an entire generation bearing its scars.”

The virus doesn’t sicken kids as much as adults. But it can still destroy their futures. A child allowance would help.

Jason DeParle, The New York Times

In the Business Insider, Hillary Hoffower writes: “According to the Pew Research Center, generations are defined by three intertwined characteristics: the life cycle — or age — effect, the period effect, and the cohort effect. The age effect refers to differences among people based on their life stage. The latter two relate to the life-changing events Dorsey speaks of.”

Lise Ragbir writes in the Yes magazine that “this pandemic re-emphasizes the ways in which global tragedy can draw clear markers between one generation and the next. [..] This generation now collectively understands that one’s daily existence can change overnight.”

Lise Ragbir predicts following 10 imagined truths and accompanying questions (in her own words) in the new generations:

  • Won’t trust that things will be the same from one day to the next. What will this do to their sense of security?
  • Won’t know the term “germaphobe” (because they will all be germaphobes.) Will this mean they’ll never know the layered meaning of a handshake?
  • Will believe that meaningful connections can be made virtually. If FaceTiming with a friend who lives thousands of miles away replaces going to the mall, how will group politics change?
  • Will trust that “learning” can happen anywhere—and anyone can teach (though not all to the same standard.) How will this affect institutionalized education?
  • Will know how to celebrate, or mourn, without physically convening. Will the ways in which we honor life’s milestones trigger new technologies? And how will new technologies affect our social rituals?
  • Will understand the reality of having and having not. Will commonplace “riches-to-rags” stories level socioeconomic playing fields?
  • Will possess a flight anxiety that has nothing to do with a fear of falling from the sky. (Shoe removal will be a minor inconvenience compared to the new reality.) Will they travel less, or develop a bubble-ized wanderlust?
  • Will have a heightened comfort with, and respect for, solitude. Will this “downtime” lead to higher rates of innovative problem-solving and heightened emotional awareness?
  • Will see front-line and essential workers as heroes. (The notion that a blue-collar job was ever considered less than a white collar might seem laughable.) How will this affect efforts to achieve social and economic equality?
  • Will blame those from previous generations for not caring sooner, for not paying enough attention to the signs. And we will agree.
Coronavirus Pandemic Watch

According to the MDH latest tally (as of Aug 29, 11 a.m.) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 74,257 (out of 1,460,381 tested) with 1,814 deaths. According to Johns Hopkins database (as of Aug 29, 3:28 p.m.) there are 5,951,047 confirmed covid19 infection with 182,653 deaths. Globally the covid19 virus has infected 24,830,948 with 839,221 deaths.