No, this isn't the "war" that young people need
Younger generations have grown up during wars, recession, and climate change - why do you think that we need yet another hardship?
Without a doubt, the current pandemic is an awful time - for everybody. So, understand my confusion (and shock) when I see online posts and even articles stating that the younger generations "needed" this hardship.
Yes, they actually exist. No, I don't want to share them because that will bring them the attention they're so desperately seeking.
An apparent sidenote: I obviously know this isn't a mindset for many boomers, but it isn't the first time that millennials and gen-zers have been stereotyped and demonised.
I fall into the "Gen Z" category of generations, many of my friends are Millennials, and truthfully I don't know the defining personality differences.
Obviously, generations cannot be grouped and defined so superficially, but it does give us guidelines, as such. For instance, there are stark differences between boomers and generation z. That's undeniable.
My generation has been labelled as "snowflakes", "generation me" and "coddled". A general consensus, from boomers, is that millennials and generation z have never experienced hardship, and it's necessary for our growth.
Here's why they're totally wrong.
What older generations do not realise is that our entire formative lives have been filled with terrorist attacks, war, and recession.
My (and all other people my age) earliest memories of this world have been shaped by 9/11, the London bombings, financial uncertainty, deadly and continuous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, countless other terrorist attacks, climate change, and school shootings.
We've also all been surrounded by a pandemic, already - the mental health epidemic.
1 in 5 young people suffers from mental illness. While boomers have often attributed this to "coddle culture" and "safetyism", they actively are choosing to look away from all the events and hardships that younger generations have endured. In my case, the majority of these serious issues happened before I ever turned 18.
Turning the other way at this blatant fact is willful ignorance. There's no other way to describe it.
Now, a pandemic has rocked the entire world. This isn't anything that any living generation has ever witnessed before. Boomers, millennials, and generation z alike.
And it seems the younger you are, the worst the lasting impacts will be.
Still, in my early twenties, this will be the second major financial crisis I have lived through. Just when we were starting to feel stability and hope, we're hit with something else.
The world is not entering an economy worse than the Great Recession. It's basically guaranteed that we will be the first generation of people that will end up poorer than their parents.
We are riddled with student debt, unable to find a way into the housing market, struggling to accumulate money, in dead-end jobs that don't even cover the rent.
No, this isn't because of our avocado on toast and Starbucks coffee, this is a result of Boomer politicians and living in the aftermath of a Great Recession.
The job market collapsed, the student loan debt increased, inflation occurred - without a pay rise to match. There was already a lack of prospect - but the pandemic has made this increasingly worse.
Now, we have to take job loss, economic insecurity, another looming recession, and total destruction of job markets on the chin? Why? Because we grew up with Playstations and Amazon accounts?
But a failing economy, endless wars, and terrorist attacks aren't the only problem young people face. The climate crisis is still up there.
Detract the blame all you want, the truth is this - the younger generations have been delivered a world that is suffocating in carbon pollution, with no prospects, and proven to be completely out of depth during a pandemic, as a result of "profit over people" policies.
We quite literally do not have the privilege to feel safe or hopeful. We've never had that privilege, unlike boomers.
What does Covid-19 confirm?
It's very clear to see that Gen Z was ready to dismantle the status quo. The pandemic, while we wish it didn't, validates all our beliefs.
Every policy that was deemed impossible to perform, has now been implemented. Resources that we were told didn't exist, are now being brought to our attention.
The gaping disparities have been exposed, and the vested interests of our politicians, have been revealed.
It was already clear that younger generations didn't have the same financial cushions as older generations, but now it has been proven.
Obviously, virtually nobody benefits from a pandemic - not the older generations, nor the younger. While older people's health gets hit, the younger generations are not economically insulated enough to deal with this.
Nobody will be receiving good news. But I personally cannot remember when I was ever delivered good news.
This pandemic, more than anything will only affirm young people's position on politics. Especially in terms of healthcare, universal income, benefits, and nationalisation.
By the way, it brings no left-wing supporters joy in being "proven right". Actually, it feels us with anger that a deadly pandemic was the only thing that shone a heavy light on the problems and inequalities.
Stop comparing COVID-19 to war
Lastly, let's look at the actual dialect - comparing corona to "war".
Not only is it just outright strange to suggest that young people "need a war", but it also ignores the fact that the majority of us don't have memories of ever not being in war with another country.
Other than that, a pandemic cannot and should not be interchangeable with conversations about war. I can't believe this has to be clarified.
There's a difference between warfare and the military, and a deadly virus. Ventilators cannot be compared to weapons, and nurses shouldn't be compared to wartime soldiers.
War and pestilence are objectively bad things, but they are not the same thing.
This war dialogue will undoubtedly stop people seeking mental health help, with a bigger emphasis on us "all being in this together" (not true), and strength being glorified.
It's actually totally normal to feel anxious, helpless, depressed, and terrified during these times. No, Winston Churchill quotes will not help this - in fact, we need to have a discussion about an overtly racist Churchill as a symbol of strength, at some point.
No, older generations are not responsible for this pandemic. P.S: neither are entire races of people, but that's a different conversation.
However, older generations wishing hardships on younger generations is not only inherently evil, but it fails to consider that our futures have already been destroyed by their actions.