Unlike most modern news stories (gone in 60 seconds) we’ve all had time to educate ourselves about COVID-19. Speaking for myself, I’m following @WHO for daily sitreps, fast-pathed to the CDC for the statistical chaos in the US, subscribed to the NYT for my daily tidbits of idiocy from The Donald, and I’ve even bookmarked health.gov.au for my breakfast-reading local CV19 infographics. While a little knowledge may be a dangerous thing, I know enough to want to grab the nearest ‘expert’ by the head and slam it into a wall. Enough fortune-telling! Just shut up already! Stop telling a whole generation how lacking in resilience they are. I’m sure they’re as sick of your #selfpity bullshit as I am.
Nobody knows what underpants they’re wearing tomorrow, let alone the path of the virus. Countries that haven’t eradicated the first wave are already hyperventilating about the second. Thousands of heretofore blessedly silent psychologists are choking up the interwebz with utterly offensive claims that the effects of COVID are equivalent to “living through a war, or the Great Depression”. Mind you, show me a psychologist that isn’t on the spectrum; but this is utter, arrant nonsense. Surviving a mustard gas attack at Ypres to be returned home with scarred lungs to no work and a family to support IS NOT THE SAME as living unhappily at Mum’s until things get better albeit this not being your Plan A.
Generationalism is the phenomena which basically assumes “Mum and Dad are always wrong about everything!”. While the same generationalism grudgingly seems to allow for the free food, free internet, free board that always-wrong parents lovingly provide, it won’t let Dad point out that there’s a thing called ‘post-traumatic growth’. Nevertheless, it is worth pointing out (from a person who put himself through university, exited into a workforce during a recession, who never got a job linked to his degree) that to benefit from the transformational potential of post-traumatic growth you must first adapt, survive and overcome the trauma. How you do it is up to you, but stop the pity-party now.
Which is why we don’t need an international cabal of fortune-tellers/psychologists fixating on how awful it must be to be in the 18-25 demographic right now. I have a grandson who might bump his head. He immediately looks at a member of his extended family and, if the reaction is “Oh! Poor little elf, are you alright?” will burst into a fountain of happy little tears. Poor widdle me = lots of lovely cuddles, playtime and tasty treats until the boo-boo is all better. I don’t have any tasty treats for young people on the cusp of adulthood hashtagging petulance and misery to the world, except this pearl of wisdom which almost all will reject: Find that thing, unique to each of you, that puts this temporary inconvenience (to most) behind you. If it’s just time, then hunker down and endure it with positivity. Stop getting triggered by everything. If it’s something else, then grab that mofo and run for your life.