Today my daughter turns two months of life. That means that he spent half of his stay on Earth in quarantine. Is that what is says, a ‘pandennial’. A part of the Generation C, as you begin to get to know those who were born during the crisis of the coronavirus Covid-19. They came to a world and, as if it were an episode of Black Mirror, will grow up in another totally different. What better or worse? That depends. Of us, of course.
As it happened with the baby boomers after the Second World War, the style of life of a whole generation -those born in the pandemic, but also the children and adolescents that face the real world – will be marked by the choices the adults in the coming months.
Will they live the ‘pandennials’ resigned to the social distancing -dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief epidemiologist of the united States, said that in the future we must forget to say goodbye with the hand, or, on the contrary, will react to embrace clean? What will make the confinement a habit and will take advantage of the technology to take refuge at the home office, or will be restless explorers, eager for contact with nature? What will be the money and build your engine or move the experiences and a form of consumption more conscious?
These are questions that only time can answer. Meanwhile, for the sake of the generation C, we must ensure that things do not go strictly to the normality. Simply because normal was, in large part, the problem. Life before the pandemic was a catastrophe for many people in terms of inequality, of injustice, of insecurity, of climate crisis. and the list goes on.
That’s why, in the midst of uncertainty, some of the most brilliant minds of the world attempt to elucidate what awaits the generation C. To understand the future, many look to the past. It happens that each historical conflict or natural disaster served as a catalyst to generate change. Often, were setbacks: a recent case is the loss of individual liberties that followed the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in the united States. Precisely, in this dilemma between security and privacy, health and privacy, they put the spotlight authors influential as the philosopher of south korea Byung-Chul Han or the best-selling israeli Yuval Noah Harari of when you think of the ‘pandennials’.
But crises can also pave the way to advance positive social change: on these days the historians recalled that the Spanish flu of 1918 led to the creation of a modern health care system in Europe. Or that to get out of the Great Depression of 29, he laid the foundations of the welfare state that still enjoys part of the West.
The impossible happened
Between these optimistic account of Rebecca Solnit, one of the cultural critics the most acute, in the northern hemisphere, which has been investigating about the positive impacts of the great crisis decades ago. In his book A Paradise Built in Hell, rescued those moments of altruism, resilience and solidarity that emerge in the midst of the pain of disasters such as earthquakes, terrorist attacks, or financial crashes. “With the coronavirus-the impossible has already happened. Now, in the middle of the panic and isolation, we are learning that a profound change and positive is possible”, wrote a few days ago in The Guardian.
For Solnit, the first thing we are taught by the disasters is that everything is connected. In a health crisis this interdependence becomes clearer than ever. And your time is important to the power of individual acts to solve a common problem. In this regard, one of the voices most inspiring of this new generation, the young environmental activist Greta Thunberg, was expressed in the same line: “The coronavirus is a terrible event, but also shows us that once we are in a crisis, we can act fast and change our habits”.
Another lesson positive to rescue in these times of uncertainty: disasters help us to distinguish between the things that really matter and those that don’t. “Now you will perceive the little importance that begins to have what us yesterday glaring”, plotted with the master of the Spanish writer Fernando Aramburu, one of the intellectuals that these days ventured a future post-pandemic more solidarity.
The crisis will equal: if we understand that the problem is collective and that, therefore, the solution will also be, there is hope that the generation C to conceive a world that is more empathetic and sustainable. A new normal, this time more human.
The author is a journalist who specializes in sustainability and founder of