The Coronavirus Presents Millennials with An Opportunity


The Coronavirus Presents Millennials with An Opportunity

The generation who fought and survived WW2 is commonly called “The Greatest Generation.” This well-deserved title is due not only to that group’s successes but also to their sacrifices. Aside from the Allied Powers soldiers who fought in WW2, every allied citizen in America, Great Britain, and beyond had to make tremendous cuts in order to defeat the Nazis. These cuts were made without complaint with the general understanding that what was difficult for them was good for society as a whole.

Since then, generation after generation that followed those from WW2 has been criticized as being increasingly narcissistic and self-absorbed. While we Millennials certainly have a legitimate leg to stand on when arguing our self-absorption versus that of the Baby Boomer generation, it’s difficult to think we could even begin to make claims of greater sacrifice or less narcissism than that of the “Greatest Generation.” Maybe Millennials are great too. We simply haven’t had a chance to prove ourselves. That is until now.

With the Coronavirus spreading rapidly around the world and showing no signs of slowing down, Millennials have an opportunity—yes, an opportunity to show what we are made of. Healthy people in their twenties and thirties (i.e., Millennials) are among the least likely to die from the Coronavirus. This is not to be used as an excuse to ignore social distancing recommendations or generally be flippant. It is, however, a good reason to go out of your way to help others, older and more vulnerable people.

As of now, many Millennials have failed the test. Some of us haven’t been taking social distancing seriously. While others have been caught behaving badly in line and greedily stockpiling items we could hardly ever use in two lifetimes.

The point is that Millennials can do more. First off, it is important to practice CDC recommendations. These include:

  • Covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  • Isolating yourself from everyone other than those who you live with.
  • Avoiding social activities. That means only leaving the house when you absolutely have to.
  • Constantly washing your hands. This means every time you go to the bathroom, every time you sneeze, and every time you leave the house or come back. And your handwashing should take more than a few seconds. You have to make sure the soap lathers up properly and fully coats your hands. It’s the manual motion of your hands rubbing together that kills germs and viruses.

Finally, beyond obeying CDC recommendations, Millennials should be going out of their way to help their parents, grandparents, and elderly neighbors with things. As our generation, it is our turn to step up to the plate and see what we can do for others. This may mean calling up your parents, grandparents, or neighbors and seeing if they need help buying groceries, or anything else, it also may mean volunteering to do other errands and favors.

Now is the time to help, and there is no shortage of people who will be very thankful for your time and energy. The only valid excuse for doing anything other than self-quarantining is helping others, so if you’re a Millennial, get to work!