Stories about younger COVID-19 patients still surprise some who assumed from the beginning it only affected older folks. But some still don’t understand.
While most novel coronavirus cases have been in older folks, younger COVID-19 patients are also dying from it.
From the beginning, when we first started hearing about this new strain of virus, younger people ignored it. Most famously, a group of spring breakers in Florida thumbed their noses at health warnings.
In mid-March, people criticized younger Americans who flocked to Florida beaches for spring break.
“If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not gonna let it stop me from partying,” a spring breaker from Ohio said.
That spring breaker later apologized for his comments and for not taking it seriously. (His Twitter account seems to have been deleted.)
But within days of a spring break trip, the University of Tampa announced five students tested positive. The University of Texas at Austin confirmed 49 out of 211 who went on a trip to Mexico tested positive.
It may well be true that younger people are less likely than older people to become symptomatic. But that doesn’t change the fact that anyone can transmit COVID-19. They can transmit it even if they have no idea they even have it.
That in itself ought to keep people with a decent amount of common sense from leaving home.
But until government authorities started issuing mandatory “Stay at Home” orders, common sense didn’t seem to be enough.
It goes beyond younger people getting sick from it.
It’s not just that there are younger COVID-19 patients. It’s that a worrisome number of patients under 50 have died from it.
A Washington Post article profiles a 39-year-old man, a husband and father, who died from COVID-19. “He also was among at least 759 people under age 50 across the United States who have perished amid the deepening pandemic,” the Post reports.
His 37-year-old widow says he didn’t have diabetes or asthma. Apparently, he didn’t have any “underlying condition” that puts people of any age group at greater risk of mortality.
Unfortunately for him and his family, that didn’t seem to make a difference.
People of a certain age group seem to have the idea that they’re invincible. Like the aforementioned spring breakers, they think nothing bad will happen to them.
It’s time to rethink the “I’m invincible” bit.
COVID-19 doesn’t bother to ask for your date of birth before it infects you. It doesn’t care how old you are.
Anyone can get it. Anyone can die from it.
It’s time for everyone to take it seriously.