It looks like the generational rift between Millennials and Baby Boomers is going from bad to worse thanks to this Covid-19 phenomenon. The center of this conflict is the question, Whose crisis is it? Are the real victims the Boomers, whose lives — we are told — are in the very cross-hairs of this “deadly menace”? Or, is it the millennials, whose youth grants them relative health and relative immunity from the virus and who have jobs to do and lots of bills to pay and lots of fun things to do now that spring is here?
I will say in starting that I am a Gen-X-er who thinks this coronavirus is insanely overblown. Really, put me on the record as saying that, according to the data, this bug is very comparable to the seasonal flu in terms of suffering and death and this hysteria is based almost entirely on the most ridiculous fear mongering.
These Boomers are so selfish, it just boggles the mind. Just today, I can’t tell you how many messages I read wherein they are hoping that the government of the state I live in will impose a several-months-long lock-down. Yeah, like the rest of the world has nothing better to do than to stay at home for months on end. Amazing. These Boomers had the most amazing life; they lived during a period of unmatched prosperity. They had great jobs with little or no need for higher education. Great pay and benefits, including pensions. They were able to pay off their homes early in life, buy tons of toys (motorcycles, snowmobiles, vacation homes, cruises, etc.). The had the most rich and convenient circumstances anybody could hope for and yet they gave nothing to their kids. By give nothing, I do not have in mind material wealth. What I mean is that the Boomers did not give their kids discipline, important skills, vision, tradition, guidance, or a functioning society.
Now that the Boomers are getting old enough to start forgetting Woodstock and to see death appearing out on the far horizon, they are terrified that their lives have been, spiritually, tremendous failures. Even the tiniest chance of death is unbearable to them. They insist that the country grind to a halt indefinitely so that they might feel secure, to hell with the consequences. All their tough-guy talk about the need for young people to be courageous, to “grab life by the horns, buttercup!”, to take some reasonable risks in order to accomplish big things, that’s all a bunch of malarkey. As is all their talk about the need for Millennials to “leave the nest” and go out there and be somebody. Boomers have the (incredibly small) chance to leave the nest of earthly life and take hold of the heavenly, but they shun it at all costs. So, who are the snowflakes in their little safe spaces now?
Again, let me stress that this coronavirus, according to the medical data, is not remarkable compared to the regular seasonal flu. Data out of Italy indicate that 99.2% of corona deaths happened to people who already had at least one previously diagnosed medical problem and about half of the deceased had three or more previously diagnosed health conditions! Basically, this virus is just finishing off sick people. I know it sounds crass, but that’s life — and it works that way with or without the coronavirus. Folks, if you didn’t already know, let me inform you that in the USA in any given year, there are between 150,000 to 1.4 million hospitalizations and up to 60,000 deaths from seasonal flu! (And that’s with a about 40% of Americans getting the flu vaccine!) Hopefully that gives you some perspective. This coronavirus would have to be many, MANY more times destructive than it currently is in order for it to even match the flu. When people say the coronavirus is basically the flu, they are wrong. Coronavirus is, as far as we can tell, nowhere near as dangerous as the flu. We are being played, but I will get to that later.
But are the Millennials not selfish, too? Yes, of course. Just as the Boomer only sees himself and is practically blind to the needs of others, so the Millennial focuses on his needs/wants and doesn’t see the needs/wants of the Boomer. As I said before, Millennials are in their working years still. They have tons of student debt besides all of the other bills. They have their health and the accompanying feeling of invincibility. The prospect of being forced to stay home and go broke is daunting.
To have the lock-downs is a huge blow to the Millennials.
To not have the lock-downs is (feared to be) a huge blow to the Boomers.
Either way, one of these generations is going to be very unhappy. (I think we should just let the Boomers undergo voluntary isolation — that way they can have their snowflakey safe space and the rest of the world can get on with its life.)
The reason why this coronavirus — which is less dangerous than the seasonal flu — has become the hysteria that we are now experiencing is simple: people are designed to fight very big dragons. It’s part of our built-in survival gear and it has always been very important to us up until the Industrial Revolution. But once life became easy and existential threats were banished one after another, we still had all this dragon-fighting energy with nothing toward which we might direct it, so we’ve been in the business of inventing dramatic problems and gigantic foes in order that we might have something to fight against. Global warming, women’s rights, rescue dogs, saving starving third-world orphans, coronavirus, the plight of transsexuals — these are first-world problems we’ve made to give ourselves much needed exercise. People love drama.
There is also the obvious fact that every political party across the globe sees this as a grand opportunity to make themselves look good and their opponents look like careless retards. This is very much the case here in America, where the media (left-dominated) as well as state and local governments (left-dominated) and federal bureaucracies (left-dominated) are contrasting their “concern” for the public and their administrative acumen with the lethargic and ineffectual approach of Trump and the Republicans. All during an election year.
Kids, make peace with your Boomer parents. Try to calm them down.