Growing up during the birth of HIV/AIDs I think had a pretty strong impact on me, psychologically. In middle school, I asked my biology teacher if you could get AIDs from a mosquito bite. Because those suckers will come from 30 miles around just to suck my blood. She said it seems logical they would be able to transmit it. That’s how little we knew. In high school, all the walls were plastered with “don’t do drugs” and warnings about how much raising a baby costs and how it screws your life forever. As high school went on, the signs started to morph. It was like, “if you have sex, you will die from AIDs.” All the baby pictures were taken down and replaced with skulls and doom. It was sobering stuff.
The impact of the coronavirus is unknown. But there are going to be some screwed up adults in the future. I was bike riding with my dog down an alley today. There were some kids playing with their dad’s supervision. They saw us coming and got to the side of the road and stayed there. We’re quite slow. We go a steady 6-7 mph. So they waited for like 3-5 minutes. I smiled at the dad and waved. And when we safely passed, they said they could get back in place. I’ve seen this at the park with mothers cautioning kids to not touch anything whatsoever and keep distance.
This is not the “Stranger Danger” mantra of the past. This is “Everything Danger.” Don’t get within 6 feet of anyone! If this is “only” a spring and summer event, it will pass. But it’s going to leave an impact. It has to. And if it lasts longer or reappears, you’re going to have some crippled adults who not only have a problem with intimacy, they have a problem with damn near everything–including being near anything.
I feel fortunate to have grown up before the internet and during it. There have been numerous studies that show the post-internet kids are having social issues. That’s simply due to spending more time interacting virtually instead of in person. But that’s a choice. The virus is making it impossible to interact with anyone other than virtually or yelling.
Fast forward 20 years and I guarantee the number of obsessive-compulsive germaphbes will skyrocket. Not to say everyone will be OCD, just that there will be a lot more. Because kids in their formative years are getting germs/viruses/distancing hammered into their impressionable heads. I’m not saying it’s wrong to do that, it just has consequences. The consequences of not doing it, could be some sick kids who sicken others. But those poor kids will grow up to be consumers.
What sucks most is that when I’m in my 80s, a few marbles rolling around my head and I’m unable to wipe my own mouth or care for myself, I will be in the charge of all those kids who avoided me on the street as I rode by like I was the Black Death himself. And those adults are going to be like, “That guy is from the generation that screwed up my planet and flung diseases everywhere. I say drive him out to the desert and leave him there. He’s probably covered in bacteria and other gross stuff.”