The novel coronavirus outbreak is panicking people of all ages, from Gen Z to Baby Boomers. While each generation has its own unique set of worries and generational characteristics, Gen X is no different. Millennials might be worried about not being able to watch sports games during the outbreak, while Baby Boomers might be tied to their television screens to hear the latest news about the coronavirus pandemic.
Generation X has its own set of unique worries and circumstances that impact how they are dealing with the outbreak, according to Dorie Clark, a communication coach, consultant, author, and keynote speaker. Here are the three unique ways in which Generation X, the demographic cohort between Baby Boomers and Millennials, is affected by this pandemic.
Many have the responsibility of caring for children and elderly alike
Many members from Generation X, a group with members between ages 40 and 55, have the responsibility of taking care of both their own children and their elderly parents.
While there is no evidence that children are more susceptible to the virus that causes COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control reports that older adults are at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.
As Gen Xers try to take care of their children, they must be mindful of not exposing their older parents to any dangerous situations in which they might come in contact with the disease.
Generation X are leaders in business right now
Given their ages and years of experience in the workplace, many members of Generation X are leaders in business right now, meaning they bear a heavy burden of not only trying to run a fully remote company (in some cases) but also navigate these difficult financial times.
This factor, added to the responsibility of caring for children and elderly parents, shows that the Coronavirus outbreak takes a heavy toll on members of Generation X.
But there is some good news for members of Generation X. Given their experience with other historical events, many are more prepared for this situation than Millennials or Gen Zers, and also have more time before retirement than members of the Baby Boomer generation.
Generation X has the context of 9/11 and the market crash of 2008
Your age during pivotal moments in history plays a large role in how a certain event affects you. Many members of Generation X were in the beginning years of their careers when the stock market crashed in 2008.
As a result, many members of Generation X know better how to handle times in which the economy is not in good shape. In 2008, members of Generation X were between the ages of 28 and 43, meaning most were in the full swing of their careers during the recession that started with the stock market crash on Sept. 29, 2008, and lasted until 2013, when the market finally recovered with stock prices rising faster than earnings, creating an asset bubble.
Similarly, in 2001, when the events of 9/11 shook the whole country, members of Generation X ranged from ages 21 to 36, meaning they were either just starting out their career or about 15 years into it. Regardless, they were old enough to remember the events of the day, and the public fear that spread in the months after. Having been through a threat of this type, many members of Generation X are more prepared to handle the mental weight of the situation, especially when compared to Millennials or Gen Zers.
In the current economic climate, it’s going to be useful to have prior experience living through a stock market crash.