by Jasmine Nguyen
For the first time since I was probably 10, my whole family is under one roof. That’s what you get when you’re practicing social distancing, and everyone is working from home for the foreseeable future.
So you have me, my younger sister, my father and my two grandparents in one home.
The past week there’s been a routine we’ve fallen into. I wake up in the morning to hear my dad arguing with my grandfather, urging him not to go out, while grandmother tries to calm them both down. My sister, on the other hand, has walked into my room, phone in hand as she begins to record a TikTok dance with me in the background.
There’s been a lot of talk of how the different generations are taking this whole COVID-19 situation to heart, for example, Baby Boomers are the least concerned, Millenials and Gen Z are concerned but aren’t taking that seriously, while poor Gen X is the most worried.
And, I think while observing my family throughout the past few weeks, I can agree.
My two grandparents who are both from the Baby Boomer generation, my grandfather especially refuses to see himself as an “at-risk” individual and will brave out to the grocery stores any time of the day. He said to me one day, “ I’m not old, why do you all keep saying I’m old, do you want me to die already?”
No, Grandpa I just want you not to get sick because you tried buying milk.
My father, born during the last leg of the Gen X era, has so much anxiety about COVID-19, he asks every single one of us how we’re feeling while throwing vitamin c pills to our faces. Which I’m not that mad about, he cares about us, but sir nothing’s gonna change in the 15 minutes since you last asked me.
I think my 20-year-old sister has been done with the whole social distancing since the first day. There’s not an hour in the day where she doesn’t come to up to me to tell me she’s bored. Or where she’s not dancing to Megan Thee Stallion for a Tiktok. I think her online shopping addiction has only grown in the past week.
As for myself, (a Gen-Zer? I’m not sure, the early part of it) yeah the anxiety is very apparent, not so much for the virus, but the lack of socializing. I miss my friends, not enough to risk going outside, but I think the anxiety of getting the virus is probably third on the list of “ Things Jasmine freaks out about.”
I don’t really know, why all these generations react differently. But to me, I think Gen X worry the most because they’re often heads of the households, so they have to care for their elderly parents and their children. While Baby Boomers, at least according to my grandparents who are immigrants, have seen a lot worse happening. For the younger people, our usage of the internet, we’ve been kind of overloaded with information since birth, so maybe we’re desensitized already.
Either way, living with multiple generations under one household can always be hard. But, for the sake of public health, I think we can manage.