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Wed Apr 29, 2020, 09:17 PM

What Events Will Define Generation Z? In All Likelihood, COVID-19 And Climate Breakdown

Jamie Margolin expected to speak at the Earth Day rally on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Instead, with the April 22 gathering cancelled, she watched a digital celebration on her laptop in Seattle, where she has been sheltering at home since mid-March with family. Her high school classes have moved online. She graduates in the Class of 2020, but the usual rites of passage—the prom and the graduation ceremony itself—are cancelled. Her 96-year-old grandfather had been hospitalized with COVID-19. A week later, he died. At his hug-free funeral, Margolin, her parents, and her uncle stood six feet apart in face masks and gloves.

Margolin, 18, belongs to Generation Z, the age group of children born after 1996. She has been a climate activist since she was 14 and despairs of the Earth remaining livable for the second half of her life. Now a highly contagious pandemic threatens to ravage the first.

Climate and COVID-19 is an unfathomable pairing of catastrophes. One will surely intersect with the other in ways not yet clear. This much is: For huge numbers of young people, the virus will become a defining moment in their formative years and the economic hardship unleashed will almost certainly shape their worldview in the same ways the 1930s Great Depression raised its children to become frugal adults.

Many will graduate into a recession, having grown up in the long shadow of the Great Recession from 2007 to 2009. The largest generation in U.S. history, already saddled with student loan debt, will be looking for jobs as the number of Americans out of work—26 million at the end of April—quickly moves into Depression-era territory.



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Reply What Events Will Define Generation Z? In All Likelihood, COVID-19 And Climate Breakdown (Original post)
hatrack Apr 29 OP
empedocles Apr 29 #1

Response to hatrack (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 09:29 PM

1. Could be economic. Japan had a whole 'lost generation' when the Japanese bubble

popped in the 1990's. And, Japan had an actual, [ not phony reaganhood type], safety net.

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