If Millennials’ already-diminished economic inheritance is destroyed by this crisis, opportunistic socialists will have a great chance to capture their votes.

As the scale and nature of the COVID-19 pandemic becomes clear, 30- and 40-somethings have urged their 60- and 70-something parents to take more serious precautions. Fifty-something parents are remarking to their 20-something children that this is the most significant disruption of day-to-day living to occur in their lifetimes, while offering the reassurance that the virus poses its least threat to the young. But is that true?

While the Wuhan coronavirus is a greater existential threat to boomers than to Millennials, it isn’t always true that that which does not kill us makes us stronger. As Karl Mannheim noted in his 1923 essay “The Problem of Generations,” generations are not so much defined by biological categories as by world events. And this pandemic may come to define Millennials.