MEETING GENERATION-COVID

Introducing the world’s newest generation, Gen–C. The generation defined by the global Covid-19 pandemic. Born between 2016 and 2021, this generation, when meeting them in person, will not go in for the handshake or polite hug, but are more likely to give you an elbow.


The lives of this generation are likely to be defined by this pandemic, having known not much else in their lifetime. They wear masks to school and hold out their hands for sanitiser when entering a public place. They’ve stopped asking why. They know the answer. Corona, that’s why.


After asking my followers for their input about how their kids are dealing with the pandemic, their stories are too insightful not to share:


“My son, a 5 year old, asked for a “Corona drone” for his birthday. When I asked what this type of drone was, he said: “Mom, it’s a drone that flies all over the world and can spot Corona from the sky, and then shoot sanitiser down on the Corona to make it stop.”

“My child hates the virus, but she says that she’s used to it. They adapt way quicker than adults. She looks like she has done the sanitising business and mask wearing since birth!”

“I do not have kids. I teach kids. The impact of Covid has been evident in their academic performance.”

“My child thrived at first, and started talking. Towards the end of lockdown, he did stop eating. All good now though, he’s his usual, happy self. He happily wears his mask and insists on clean hands and on his temperature being taken.”

“My furbabies are much happier because Dad has been home more!”

These stories really put things into perspective for me. This is a generation that has seemingly lost “something” for over a year. But their generation knows no difference, is an argument. They’ve had school days taken away from them, they’ve lost out on participating in team sports and extracurricular activities like singing in the choir. Playdates and birthday parties are a thing of the past. Family get-togethers are smaller, cousins are distant.


But, as understood in the stories above, the impact of the closeness of immediate family has had on them and their rate of adaption is incredible.


Is this generation most threatened by the Covid-19 pandemic? Or will they draw strength from what they have been through?


Gen-C, albeit young, are tech-savvy, resourceful and versatile. They understand iPads and drones, and why it’s important to stay home and sanitise. They have taken to masks and temperature checking, and have a unique understanding of the virus, in terms of adapting to it, and adapting to the lifestyle it has presented.


Although Gen-C have been affected by the pandemic in ways no other generation has, I came across this interesting story, told by Chris Mansbridge, a digital transformation expert (https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrismansbridge/detail/recent-activity/shares/). He tells the story of his daughter, a 12 year old online shopper, supporting a fellow Gen-Z seller:




















I found this story fascinating. Is this something we should be paying attention to?


In line with Youth Month in South Africa, Hector Peterson reminds us that the youth have always been the ones to question, challenge, reinvent and innovate because they have to.


I’d like you to think about this for a moment – really think about the younger generations. They’re a force to be reckoned with, and perhaps the generation the world has been waiting for.


What are your thoughts about how this generation handles stress and change? What can we take from this and how can we build this into our own learnings and teachings about how we empower and lead these younger generations?

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