Tuesday, March 24, 2020

"Party On!"

The younger generation exhibits a sense of entitlement combined with a lack of accomplishment. The Millennials (and their progeny) are the most selfish, self-centered, and blissfully ignorant generation in American history. What’s worse, they wear their ignorance as a badge of honor and their belief in Ayn Rand’s Objectivism (“Self-interest above all else”) as their adopted religion. (Are there exceptions? Of course, and maybe you’re one of them… but remember, it’s the exceptions that prove the rule).

Nowhere has this been more evident with the onset of the pandemic Coronavirus in February 2020. As the world faces a pandemic that promises to be greater in scope than the 1918 influenza – which lasted two years and infected 500 million people (a quarter of the world's population at the time) resulting in more than 17 million deaths – they blithely ignore warnings to stay inside and not interact with others so as not to spread the contagion. In fact, they deliberately do the opposite.

They congregate in public places; they hold “Corona parties;” they flood beaches and Spring Break spots in Florida – despite the fact Florida is home to the largest elderly population in the country. This is salient because initial reports from China and Italy (the first areas to be affected) show while victims under age 60 recover from the virus, victims over age 60 have a 15-to-20% mortality rate. Put another way, one-in-five will die. The mortality rate for those under 60 was reported at less than 1%. (The overall mortality rate for Coronavirus is 3.4%). So armed with the knowledge that they might get a bad flu bug but otherwise be okay, America’s youth adopted the mantra “Party On!”

The flaw in this reasoning is while their lives may not be at risk, they are spreading the virus to others – exponentially. For every individual they infect that person will go on to infect 3.5 more others; and those will infect 3.5 others. It’s like social networking or Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. This is how epidemics and pandemics (i.e., a global epidemic) spread. And eventually that mass of infected people will come in contact with an older person over age 60 (your parents, your grandparents, your neighbors, your coworkers); or someone with a weakened immune system (due to an immune disorder like Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes mellitus, Guillain-Barre syndrome, polyneuropathy, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Psoriasis – there are more than 100 such conditions); or someone with an underlying condition like heart disease, diabetes, or hypertension; or someone who has recently had surgery or a prolonged illness or chronic condition that has weakened their otherwise healthy immune system. Know anyone like that? Because your “I’m not at risk. Party on” behavior WILL kill some of them.

It’s not all about you, Millennials. It’s about the people you are infecting and indirectly killing due to you selfish behavior. When you insist on spreading the virus in public gatherings because you are not personally at risk – that is selfishness to the extreme. Sure, you feel great; you don’t have symptom (although it takes 14 days for symptoms to appear during which time you may be a contagious carrier). Vanessa Hudgens, former Disney teen star, now 31 years old  tweeted: “Like, even if everybody gets it — like, yeah, people are gonna die. Which is terrible. But, like, inevitable?” That’s what passes for Millennial compassion and empathy. But when you hold “Corona parties” designed to spread the virus and post photos to social media tagged “#BoomerRemover” that’s beyond selfish: that’s malicious and a deliberate threat to public health that should result in criminal penalties. If someone with AIDS deliberately set out to infect as many people as he could, he would be prosecuted for attempted murder. The same rule should apply. Individuals need to take personal responsibility for their actions.

This is what happens when the “Me Generation” raises an even more narcissistic generation. Boomers failed as parents. They abdicated their parental responsibilities, opting to be their children’s “friends” not parents. They stopped spanking unruly children, both at home and in schools, thereby eliminating consequences for unacceptable behavior. Instead of awarding achievement, they gave trophies to kids just for showing up. Attendance was placed over actual accomplishment because God forbid their morale might suffer. So what was the lesson they learned? “I deserve it.” Why? Just because. Period.

They grew up thinking they are entitled to the best life has to offer without having to earn it, as every preceding generation has. Want to be famous? Start a YouTube channel. Want to write a book? Self-publish it. Want to be popular? Collect thousands of “friends” on Facebook. Looking for self-validation? Post your face pic or thoughts on social media, sit back and count the “likes” that come in. (Neil Armstrong went to the moon and snapped three photos; the typical teen posts three selfies a day!) This isn’t reality, folks.

Instead, we have college students who no longer view campuses as a place to broaden their horizons and debate opposing concepts in what Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes dubbed “the marketplace of ideas.” Today’s college campuses are now “safe spaces” where opposing thoughts are banned because students complain they are too fragile to hear ideas that counter their belief systems. They fear words or ideas that may “trigger” them – and faculty members who express them are routinely fired. That’s not learning. It’s not education. And this isn’t reality, folks. We now have a generation unable to cope with life in the real world.

But they’ll have to, as new information shows Coronavirus can have serious health effects on those aged 18-to-54. It might even kill some. Oops. It also turns out Coronavirus isn’t a one-hit pony. It will be linger for 12-to-18 months and then come back years later… when Millennials are older and more susceptible to dying from it. But don’t worry kids, I’m sure the younger generations that follow you will be just as concerned and diligent in addressing it as you’ve been.

So sorry keeping my grandparents alive is messing up your spring break plans.

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