For this boomer, everything new is deja vu

Because of careers, because of incomes, because of families, different generations have weathered the pandemic in different ways. Baby boomer Brian Hersch is the creator of board games to which a lot of us turned when we were pretty much stuck at home, games like Taboo, Outburst, Malarkey, and Super Scattergories. As he writes from his home in Los Angeles, that was a new experience for younger generations, but not necessarily for us.

Tis’ the post-pandemic season of “re-connecting.” But every generation seems to embrace this moment in different ways, and with different sensitivities.

Our generation? We found the pandemic almost a throw-back experience. Consider these flashback moments:

  • Shelter-in-place has basically been a modern version of duck-and-cover. And, boomers were among the first to lock-down. The most basic of life experiences.
  • Vaccination vexation? Please. Baby boomers were the primary target for the polio vaccine, followed by chickenpox, mumps, and measles. It was standard operating procedure for baby boomers who wore their little circular vaccination scars as a badge of generation membership.
  • Hang out in front of the TV? Boomers greeted the mornings with Captain Kangaroo, raced home to watch Leave It To Beaver, and stayed up late for The Twilight Zone and later SNL.
  • Staying at home binge-watching TV for a year? Not a problem. JFK’s FCC chairman Newton Minow may have declared TV a “vast wasteland” but the pandemic has boomers more concerned about a vast waistband!

Now we have reached the moment of liberation. For the first time, boomers are not at the front of the parade. We are skeptical. Cautious. Older.

We are hanging back, preferring to reconnect with our old friends in small groups instead of at crowded movie theaters or concert venues.

Brian Hersch

But like so much else about baby boomers, our social skills have some rust on them now. Is anyone surprised that boomers are re-embracing another childhood staple: playing board games together. Social party games have been lubrication for rusty social skills for some time. Boomers were the original audience for such games as Trivial Pursuit and Taboo while they stayed at home during the recession in the ‘80s.

Through this pandemic, boomers have discovered that they still like playing board games with friends. It is a comfortable, fun, smiling route out of isolation.

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