September 27, 2020

Grant County Herald

Community news from the prairie to the lakes

Is the ‘I wanna’ generation tough enough to survive COVID-19?

BY C. A. RAY/ Editor

Imagine coming of age during the first half of the 20th Century.

When you are a child, World War I begins, and it ends with 18 million dead.

Shortly thereafter, a worldwide pandemic, Spanish flu, kills 50 million people. You come out alive and unharmed, you’re 20.

You get a job, marry, and start raising your family when a global economic crisis begins with the collapse of the New York Stock Exchange, causing inflation, unemployment, and famine.

You’re a young man when World War II begins. Six million Jews die during the Holocaust. There will be a total of over 60 million deaths worldwide.

In middle age, the Polio epidemic hits 57,628, mostly young people, in the United States. Over 21,000 suffer permanent paralysis, and 3,145 die.

That same year, the Korean war begins, killing close to 37,000 American young men.

The Vietnam war begins when you are nearing retirement age and ends when you are an old man, with 58,000 American young men and women killed.

No wonder this generation of Americans are called “The Greatest Generation.” They were tough, expected life to be difficult, and dealt with it. Their philosophy of life was “Whatever it takes.”

Yet, a child born in the 1980s believes his grandparents have no idea how difficult life is for them today!

A child born in 1995, who is at the prime of life, believes that if his Amazon package takes more than three days to arrive, or he gets no more than 15 “likes” on Facebook, his life is over.

In 2020, we live in comfort, have access to several entertainment sources at home, and are able to survive a period of unemployment thanks to government aid.

But people complain about having to stay home for several weeks during a worldwide pandemic.  They have electricity, phone, food, hot water, and a roof over their heads, yet they complain because they cannot go out to their favorite bar, see a movie in a theatre, or a parade at their home town’s summer festival.

And now they have been complaining because they have to wear masks in supermarkets, to shop, or take public transportation.

And they complain because they can’t watch live football, or other sports.

Their philosophy of life is a simple: “But I wanna!”

Maybe it’s time to be less selfish, stop whining, and take responsibility for things. For instance, you have no right to complain about not being able to do the fun things if you haven’t been vigilant in wearing a face mask when you go out. You are adding to the problem and helping spread the virus!

In fact, just by going out, you have helped to spread the virus. Of all the safety measures, mentioned again and again, by the CDC, the only one that works 100 percent is “stay home.”

I think we need to give up this idea that we can have “just a little” of the fun stuff during a pandemic. Just a little live music, just a little party, just a little normalacy!

To stop this horror of 2020, we need to get serious, we need to face the harsh music that we are in trouble here. Big trouble, WWII, Spanish flu-type trouble.

Are we tough enough anymore in this country to do the right thing? We will soon see.