I am saddened that Ava Ayala Rosenbaum believes 70-year-olds live a locked-down life, with or without a pandemic (Gen Z special report, 2 June). It’s not something I recognise. Most of us have lives filled with purpose, direction, passion and social connections – maybe not as much as a 22-year-old, but still fulfilling. We may not spend much time musing, but we do quite a bit of doing. We may not qualify for a midlife crisis, but we can do a “silver swerve” if the mood takes us.
I hope Ava Ayala doesn’t spend the next 50 years dreading her 70s. It would be a waste of her obvious intelligence, drive and spirit, and do more damage than any pandemic.
Young people – Generation Z – are anxious about their future due to months of lockdown affecting their mental wellbeing, education and job prospects. But they should remember that we humans are a resilient species. My generation, when young, was subjected to the horrors of the second world war, the bombing of our towns and cities, even being called up to do our bit for the war effort, while our parents’ generation had to put up with the first world war and the so-called Spanish flu epidemic, both of which killed millions. Yet we survived. Were we changed by these experiences? Some were, but as a whole we came through them to live long and happy lives.
Of far more concern are global heating and climate change, which no governments seem willing to do much to mitigate.