Young Adults or Preschoolers?:The Teenage Response to COVID-19


“…stay inside…social distance…consequences… predicted 2 million deaths…” Recently, the media has been flooding our newsfeeds with information about the Coronavirus. The common theme amongst articles and in speeches is to stay inside and participate in social distancing. President Trump recently announced it says in an epidemiological model if we do not social distance we could be facing 2 million deaths. Here in Pennslyvania, there is even a “stay at home order” to try and combat people congregating. Unfortunately, Millenials and Gen Z do not seem to be taking this seriously no matter how many lives are at risk. 

As a teenager living through a national emergency, I have become very aware of the situation around me. For me personally, I have two parents who are targets for Coronavirus. My mother is 60 years old and has underlying health conditions. My father is 63 years old and has asthma. If I brought this virus home to my parents, I may be risking their lives. I could not live with this guilt. Although, it appears like many of my peers can. 

As a very social teenager, I am often active on apps like Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Even when there was a national emergency called, we were pulled out of school, our daily routines completely disrupted, my fellow classmates were still posting videos of themselves partying, sneaking out, and ignoring every warning issued by the government. I felt like I was watching videos of self-centered preschoolers, obsessed with self-gratification. We have to stay in quarantine longer because of people’s egocentric behavior. I feel like I’m in the class of children that can’t go out for recess because one child is acting out of line. 

I have never imagined my friends as self-centered until this pandemic. I truly understand the upset of life as we know it being drastically changed. I, myself, am very disappointed at everything I am missing out on. Important events for me have been canceled, my relationships are strained, I am very disappointed. No matter what has been ruined by this virus, nothing matters more to me than the safety of my family, friends, and the people around me. 

What has truly come to light for me during this crisis is that attitudes must change. A generation of egotistical, insensitive, and immature children has been raised. The people around me have no respect for others. Worse yet, there are adults that are still going out, acting like children. As the old saying goes, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”. We must change our mindset from self-serving to serve others to act as a unified community and ultimately a unified nation. It is necessary for our survival.