Covid-19 is a mirror through which we view ourselves in a new light. We middle class Baby Boomers can see we are spoiled and naive. Spoiled, because we have pretty much everything we could need or want, and doing without, being constrained and universally fearful emphasizes our prior comfort. Naive, because we who thought ourselves so smart and advanced now see we have no idea how to confront this emerging pandemic situation. Our grandparents lived through the fear and privation of two World Wars, the Spanish flu, the Great Depression and in many Midwestern and Western cases the daunting challenges of pioneering. We have little learning from them as to how to handle living with less, confining freedoms, and seeing our security evaporate in declining markets.
Yet apparently we do have a strong re-emerging sense of empathy that partially evolved from Viet Nam era protests and working to achieve freedoms for under served people. It is a wonder to see Boomers again reacting with possibly forgotten compassion that was previously compromised by achieving wealth and comfort. A new sense of community is developing where everyone really is equal because our quarantined living situations and the threat to our very lives are equal.
The question is, is this the new normal? How will we further evolve in adjusting to Covid-19? Beyond the tragedy of deaths, will it actually be a largely positive experience for this generation, teaching us to be less spoiled, more knowledgeable about the human condition, and more connected to others through greater mutual experience and understanding?
We can hope that a positive outcome of our pandemic crisis will ultimately be a new egalitarian respect for one another.