The Greatest Generation

This is me in one of the masks I made for a local hospital.

When I scored a container of Clorox wipes at the grocery store yesterday, I was ecstatic! Cleaning and wiping everything are daily routines. Groceries, including the aforementioned Clorox wipes, are unloaded in the garage and wiped before handing them over to my husband to be put into the fridge or pantry. I would be lying if I said I haven’t been frightened or tense whenever I have to go out.

I’m a child of the Greatest Generation. I’m showing my age here, I know. That’s okay. And frankly I’m blessed to have made it to the ripe old age of seventy-four. My parents lived through the 1918 Flu Epidemic, The Great Depression, and World War II. I watched my mother continue throughout her life to be frugal—lessons she learned during the lean years. She never denied me anything, though, which is how my generation raised our children. Then 9/11 hit. Our lives changed forever but in a different way. There was still plenty of money to shop and plenty of things to shop for.

Now, this is our 1918 Flu Epidemic with people dying by the thousands. This is our Great Depression with people are lined up for food, as they struggle without a paycheck. As we fight against this invisible enemy, it’s our World War III.

The troops have rallied and joined the fight. They are manufacturers along with men and women who are making masks and gowns. Manning and donating food to the food banks, teenagers who are shopping for seniors, liquor industries who are making hand sanitizers and on and on troop the unsung heroes. I can’t begin to list all the folks who are stepping up. And our medical workers who brave the front lines in this battle twenty-four hours a day and who work through sadness and exhaustion, but yet celebrate the victories when patients go home.

How will this change us? There will be many lessons to be learned from today’s struggles. Monday morning quarterbacking will abound. But for now, from the Baby Boomers to the X, Y, and Z generations, I see the spirit of The Greatest Generation shine. We will win this fight and overcome because that’s what we Americans do.