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Thank you, COVID-19

This is a message for all ACS students. What is happening right now is a lesson for all humanity, and especially for us, the youth. I am not here to talk about the COVID-19 and how important it is to stay home, or how dangerous this is since there are probably millions of articles all around the internet and we, as young adults, should keep informed. I am writing this article for us to have perspective on this situation. Fortunately, we are a generation that was born with everything we wanted whenever we wanted it. We are hungry and lazy to cook, we download PedidosYa and get the food immediately. We want to go somewhere, we can use Uber, our own cars, Puma Katari, Teleférico, etc. We want to see a movie, we register on Netflix, Amazon, HBO, or HULU. There are a million different platforms to consume content. We want to buy something because we like a product, we go to Amazon, Alibaba, or any online website and the product arrives in a matter of days without having to move. 

All this has generated instant gratification. In other words, we want everything immediately and we don’t have enough patience. In addition to all this, we have not experienced any war or any major economic crisis like our parents and grandparents did. And realistically, we are a generation that gets stressed because we don’t have enough likes or enough followers; we don’t know what to do and the truth is that we are a very mentally weak generation. It’s not our fault, we were born like this. This behavior is tattooed in our DNA. We are super impatient, super selfish, and, well, extremely lazy. This has made us think that we live in the world of Yuppie! cottons and rainbows because it has been like this since we were born. The greatest technological era, any dream, crazy as it may seem, you can get. Right now, with globalization and technology, the number of experiences, the number of trips, the number of connections, the number of opportunities there are, are crazy. Never in human history has it been so easy to get what we wanted and when we wanted it. 

I honestly believe that this situation will strengthen us as a generation on a mental level. This is going to be a before and after in humanity. With this said, I would like you to realize that what is happening is an opportunity. An incredible opportunity to resume that coexistence and those personal relationships with our loved ones. An opportunity to train patience, which we do not have. And above all, it is a great opportunity to find our purpose, our passions, and to define long and short term goals.

We live in airplane mode. We wake up, we go to school, we go to college, we go to work, we go back home and watch a movie on Netflix, we watch our social media and so on. It is a vicious circle. We have never taken the time to slow down. COVID-19 has given us the opportunity to stop time. I always complain about how the world never stops and gives us the opportunity to calm down and see if we are going to the work we like, if we are really studying what we like, or if what we plan to study is not due to any external pressure. Now we have that opportunity! I always wonder: what if that lawyer or financial consultant really had been the greatest musician or painter in the history of mankind? But since he lived in airplane mode, he never left his comfort zone because he ended up working on something that is not for him.

Quarantine is a gigantic opportunity to define who we really are and to see if we like what we are doing.

The other day, someone sent me a post to Instagram, (yes, a social network that I use too often.) It goes like this: our grandparents were asked to go to war, our parents were asked to fight the greatest economic crisis of the era, and we are only asked to stay home. 

I would like to add to that quote: we were asked to stay home in the greatest technological age in human history.

The answer you give to this situation is dichotomous. You either stay home watching Netflix and consuming social networks like 99.9% of the population or you take this opportunity to work in yourself, to recalibrate your mind, to level up your mind.

Finally remind you that all this is temporary, that after the great crises comes prosperity and within chaos, you always have to know how to see opportunities.


Matias Mercado

Matías Mercado Grossman is a 12th grader. He writes opinion editorials and is an editor for the Newspaper Team. His favorite movie is 12 Angry Men.

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