A lot of Americans, particularly the Baby Boomers, have trouble recognizing the limits imposed by reality. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:
The baby-boomer generation were perhaps the most privileged generation that the US has ever spawned.
Their fathers returned from World War II, eager to get married, buy a house and start a family. The economy was booming, as, during the early years of the war, the US wisely stayed out, but provided tanks, helmets and even toothbrushes to those who were directly involved in the fray.
What’s more, they didn’t accept pound notes or francs; they accepted only gold. So, at the end of the war, when the manufacturing cities of Europe had been destroyed by bombs, the male populations decimated and the governments broke, the US was on a roll. They had most of the world’s gold and had first-rate manufacturing facilities that only had to switch from making jeeps and rifles to making cars and televisions.
That wave of wealth allowed the young married couples to spoil their children with whatever they wanted.
The boomer generation reached their teens in the 1960s, and having grown accustomed to receiving whatever they wanted in life, they were young adults and wanted to party. The phrase, “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll” was coined and it was an apt one. Young Americans opted for plenty of all three.
One reason the coronavirus is receiving so much attention and hysteria is because its disproportionately killing the baby boom generation, and everything that generation has done has received disproportionate attention. From the Zman at theburningplatform.com:
Major social events are often a lot like moving furniture around the house. Moving the bookcase from one side of the room to the other is a mundane task. What you find behind it, however, can be quite interesting. Sometimes you find something you searched high and low for at some point. Other times you find something that you never knew was missing. Maybe just moving things around a bit gives you a new perspective on your living space that leads to other changes in your environment.
That’s how big social events feel sometimes. The event itself is not as important as what it reveals. Maybe you find out your neighbor is a bit of kook, who quietly has been stocking the basement with dried food and ammunition. Maybe we learn that the local government is more useless than anyone imagined possible. The Chinese pandemic is one of those events that will be more important for what it reveals than for the impact of the virus itself, unless you die from it, of course.
For example, we are getting a glimpse of what the great Baby Boomer retirement is going to look like in the coming decade. If we execute all of the people, who like debating the precise dates of generational divisions, we can agree that the cohort in question is roughly those who came of age in the late 1960’s and the late 1970’s. Two waves of the post-war baby boom. Right now, the number of elderly people grows by an average of 2.8 percent annually. It will peak at about 80 million.