Every generation has a defining moment when the country comes together as one. The Coronavirus Pandemic response has been compared to World War II. The industries of America have mobilized in a similar fashion, retooling to provide PPE and ventilators. However, the WWII comparison is lost on most people. There have been five generations of Americans between World War II and today. Too much time has passed to make this a relevant reference. However, the memory of the terrorist attacks on 9/11, and America’s response, might be a more timely analogy.
Although Generation Z (2001-2013) has no memory of 9/11, the days following the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Flight 93, still live in our memories. When this country came together as one. Doing whatever it could to help the first responders, who were, unfortunately, performing recovery operations and not rescue efforts. However, before long that 9/12 feeling disappeared completely. It’s been replaced by political acrimony that’s tearing the country apart.
Like 9/11, this pandemic will have long-reaching effects for generations to come. Years from now, children will ask, “What was it like before the CV?” We’ll get a wistful expression, and tears will form in the corners of our eyes. Then we’ll say, “We used to go to sporting events. Concerts weren’t only pay-per-view. We voted in-person, without wearing a mask. And, we used to shake hands and hug people. Even Grandma and Grandpa.” The wide-eyed response will be, “Wow!”
9/11 was primarily a stand-alone event. Even though it spawned two wars and cost thousands of lives. It also changed the way we travel forever. The health and financial ramifications of this pandemic will be felt for generations to come as well. Job losses in the tens of millions, plus the catastrophic effect on small businesses, have been massive body-blows to the formerly raging economy.
As we all adjust to this new world, let’s be more like the America of September 12, 2001 and not the America of Thanksgiving, 2019. When nasty political squabbling ruined the holiday for many families across the country. Let’s continue to pull together, and help out as best we can. Even if it just means racing through our Netflix queue faster than we ever thought possible. Let’s all stay healthy out there!
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