The Financial Express

Birth of the 'corona generation'

Birth of the 'corona generation'

In the early 20th century, a number of younger generations came up, apparently to represent their times. Mostly centred on depressing periods, these youths were used to upholding the negative aspects of existence. One of these groups was termed the Lost Generation. Youths belonging to this generation emerged as the champions of disillusionment and meaninglessness of life. This Europe-based group comprisedmainly theyouths engaged in creative activities.

Amazingly, in a different way altogether, the Lost Generation can be compared to the 'corona generation' of 2021. They are also lost, though in their own ways.

Coined by Ernest Hemingway in his novel 'The Sun Also Rises', the phrase 'Lost Generation' had continued to refer to the youths attaining their adulthood after a cataclysmic time. Those could be global armed conflicts, a pandemic covering continents or, as championed by a group of today's philosophers, the fast approaching climate change.

Notwithstanding theLost Generation of Hemingway being focused on the post-World War I young authors and artists, average youths also began to be sucked into the 'generation'. The phenomenon was found repeating also after the World War II. Partly the 1940s, the 1950s and the whole 1960s witnessed the birth of dozens of youth-based schools of thoughts. Prominent of them were the Beat Generation, the Beatles, the Green activists and the Yuppies (Gen Y). The last group, despite its being without any organised philosophical message, stood out with itsemergence from a higher middle-class background. It was especially a few European countries, the US, and partly Japan, which eventually became the ideal haunts forYuppies - the generation championing professional superiority and a veiled haughtiness. As a group-culture, they would love to flaunt their wealth.

After the wholesale destruction and a humiliating defeat of the Axis Forces in Europe and Japan, the emergence of the Yuppies and similar groups was not expected anytime soon. In fact,it occurred in the 1970s and the 1980s.To sum up, beginning from the medieval period's Renaissance to the Beat Generation, fresh thoughts have been welcomed by the times' youths.

Against this universal backdrop, the thoughts of the generations attaining their adolescence and youth during the novel corona pandemic's march had to be shapedin a distinctive way. It couldn't be otherwise. The task of the sociologists and thinkers of the time, thus, is to undertake visits to the inner recesses of the youths' minds. Given the previous spells of the similar kind in different continents, the job may turn out to be easy.

Yet there could be exceptions, which might define the corona-time youth minds in ways different from the past. One of these possible features could be the agonisingly prolonged stay of the pandemic. At the same time, the Covid-19 scourge's constantly mutating character and the emergence of new variants remains a feared possibility.

Moreover, the competition between nations to invent a highly effective vaccine may end up being the proverbial situation: Too many cooks spoil the broth.In the global mess, developing countries like Bangladesh might remain just at the mercy of the nationsskilled in marketingtheir vaccine products.

However, the foisting the corona vaccines for free or selling at cheaper prices may not be a free lunch. In today's complicated global diplomacy, all favours made by powerful nations to the weaker ones have a latent motive. There are elements of charity. But that's not all. The 'big brothers' might one day turn to their nondescript friends during a global vote at an international colloquium. It may put the earlier favoured brothers in a tight spot.Ripples of vaccine diplomacy have begun rustling. These may one day die out. But the fraught situation cannot bypass the corona generation. It's already stuck in a seemingly endless void.

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