Over the course of history, each generation that goes through life has an impactful series of events that will affect their approach to everyday circumstances. From financial crises to world wars, generational cohorts are molded and shaped from these events, which affects one generation’s perception to life over the other.

For Generation Z, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a shocking revelation and reality for all of us. Though pandemics and health crises such as the Ebola outbreak or the Swine Flu pandemic have affected the world in the past decade, never have we seen a pandemic as contagious and deadly as this.

Being a Generation Z myself, I was shocked to see the world come to a complete halt. Loving the fast-paced world that all of us have lived through prior to the pandemic, we have been shellshocked to see with deserted parks, malls, and highways only transporting frontline workers and essential services as they fight through the ongoing virus.

Remembering our moments with friends and family in these places prior to the pandemic seems to be lost in history. Moreover, the new normal brought to us a completely unknown environment even most of our parents did not experience, forcing us to dive head-first into this perception of reality. And with cases and new deadly variants rising rapidly in the past few months, it has left us to wonder: “When we will be able to see the end of the tunnel?”

The adjustment to the new normal has brought incredible challenges few have ever predicted before. That sense of face-to-face interaction with friends and family was a major loss that we have underestimated prior to the pandemic. In addition, as many everyday events such as concerts and school have gone virtual, we have been separated from the presence of our relatives and friends, leaving us bored and waiting for a brighter tomorrow.

With the majority of the world still stuck in the confines of our own homes despite the scientific advancements, finding and keeping sane has been a rough ride to say the least. Moreover, as the death toll has risen exponentially as a result of this virus, the struggle to find a solution in a situation that is out of our control leaves us holding on to the edge of our seats.

The urge to end this virus has become more desperate than ever. News outlets and stations have been releasing daily press conferences with the World Health Organization, hoping that people find some comfort through these talks with the best scientists around the globe.

However, with the pandemic and healthcare becoming the defining issue of our young lives, it has overshadowed other key issues that are affecting many people as well. Social justice and violence around the world have been put on little notice, with protests and demonstrations becoming an everyday reality for the people of all continents. Amidst the new scientific information that we are receiving on an everyday basis on the state of the COVID-19 virus, it is shocking to see little attention being put on racial and environmental issues.

The notion that these problems are second-tier compared to COVID-19 is ludicrous and insane, seeing that these issues have already been present in society. The lack of awareness and education regarding the subject has caused many to suffer the consequences around the world. Moreover, the assumption that a world without COVID-19 would save all of our problems is absolutely insane, seeing that the problems of the world have been put into hiding before the pandemic.

As so many of us have started to self-reflect and self-actualize the current situation through the eyes of our gadgets and the internet, it is important to realize the value of the moment. The generational cohort is in the most important moment in the history of mankind, with our actions in the near future that may cause repercussions that would last for centuries.

With the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals deadline approaching, it has become more important and integral that we put equal amounts of effort to address each global issue. We have the power to influence and change the lives of millions of people from across the world.

The past year has given us time to reflect upon ourselves and to discover new things that may have been previously discarded. With all of the events happening at the moment, it is important that we come out of this pandemic as better people, to make the world change for the better.

As the world enters a new form of digitization and technology reliance, we can only hope that society can produce strong men and phenomenal women that will make positive change in this world. So, let’s start that change right now.