Youth and the pandemic: frustration between the “Corona generation”

Youth and the pandemic: frustration between the “Corona generation”

They usually met a lot of friends, had a party and traveled a lot. But nothing is normal for young people at the moment. The “Corona generation” is growing up – with consequences, experts say.

Kirsten Girschick, ARD capital studio

21:30, Weserstraße in Berlin-Neukölln. Life is raging here on a normal Friday. But rising corona infections are also apparently working here, long before the curfew.

The bars are still as full as hygienic regulations allow – so the conditions are half-empty on Friday night. People sit civilized, masks are worn at table football and pool table. But in front of the door, even in front of Spätis, which is usually a meeting place for young people and young adults, there are no longer such crowds as ten days ago.

Several tourists are still looking for a bit of nightlife. And a passerby said that in the mid-1930s, the limitations of nightlife were worse than young people: “Maybe they are looking for someone to start a family. The chances of getting to know someone are then diminished.”

“It’s not like before”

22:50, Silesian Tower. Before Späti closes, Linus quickly buys a beer. He was just 18 years old. “Sure, I’m already participating in the Corona rules. But it’s not like before, where you could dance and go here and there and have a nice evening. “

His friend Liam adds: “It is difficult for young people to comply with these restrictions. You want to meet, it’s clear. But it’s also clear that you need to protect older people. ”Both young people don’t think the federal police can be used for control purposes. If it is a huge rally with 50 people, the police should intervene. However, harsh punishments for even the smallest crimes do not support them.

Missed opportunities

Professor of Sociology Michael Corsten is currently researching the “Generation Corona” at the University of Hildesheim. Among other things, he asked dozens of young people for “remote socialization.” Amazing knowledge: “Even though this generation really has experience with digital social media, many young people still make a difference between the real world and the world in the digital world.”

He sees long-term implications for young people’s life planning. Now, so to speak, there is a generation “in parentheses” that must constantly reorient itself. This could lead to great frustration. And some professional and private opportunities – such as a year abroad – are unlikely to be compensated.

Economics professor Regina Riphahn also emphasizes that she expects so-called “scarring” in this generation. She misses a lot at school and university. When she starts her career, due to the crisis, a lower amount is probably paid out, which may not be possible to compensate for her entire working life.

“We won’t sleep on Friday at 11 p.m.”

23:15, Silesian Tower. For three friends, Nele, Joland, and Belen, the night could only normally begin. They have recently completed their studies and training and feel that Corona has really slowed them down in their desire for life. “We just finished our studies and training, we thought everything could be done right now,” says Nele. And right now it’s all over. “You wanted to go abroad, really travel again. Having my first big graduation – and now it’s all really annoying. “

Belen adds: “Everyone has come to terms with this situation. But not going out, not being out at night – it deprives a lot of freedom. I think you need it somehow.” Now it’s over at 11pm, there’s nowhere to go. “Of course we will not do anything in a large group. But we still won’t go to bed at 11 a.m. Friday. “

The party is part of it

Sociologist Corsten believes that this need to go out is simply part of the youth. “Celebration, especially in adolescence, also involves effort. You want to make it happen. Along with other people. “

“Generation Corona” is currently preparing for new restrictions – and at least those we met tonight want to stick to them. However, everyone is painfully aware that they are missing something at night in Berlin.

For more information on “Generation Corona”, see “Report from Berlin » at 6:05 p.m. First.

Mark James

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