Despite the edict from the New York City Governor Andrew Cuomo imploring people to stay at home during this Coronavirus pandemic, people are out in droves in NYC parks thinking that they simply were not going to contract the disease. After all, it only affects the elderly and people with underlying conditions, right?
You could not get it more wrong. Staying home is no joke and if you're still meeting up with friends, you're contributing to spreading the disease.
Young people are getting coronavirus — and dying
It’s a myth that young people do not get very sick or die. Director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, explained that while the total number of deaths is "overwhelmingly weighted toward the elderly and those with underlying conditions, there are going to be people who are young who are going to wind up getting seriously ill."
Even more troublesome are the facts from the World Health organization: "although the evidence we have suggests that those over 60 are at highest risk, young people, including children, have died".
While early reports from China said that the virus attacks mostly older people, the data from Europe and the U.S. prove otherwise. It’s also worth noting that the virus may be mutating as it makes its way across the globe, and as it does symptoms, as well as the avenues and ways it attacks may change.
New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that over 4,000 cases in the U.S and found that close to 40 percent of those who were hospitalized for the virus as of March 16 were aged 20 to 54. More sobering is the fact that among the most critical cases, 12 percent of intensive care admissions were people aged 20 to 44.
While it is true that most elderly people have the worst outcomes, and 80 percent of people in the U.S. who have died from COVID-19 were 65 and over, it’s also true that young, healthy people do get very severe cases and some do die, and no one knows why just yet.
Not having underlying conditions does not save you
Underlying conditions put people in the high-risk category, such as diabetes, heart conditions, asthma, and other lung problems. Being pregnant is general is thought to lower your immune system although no evidence has been found that pregnant women are more susceptible to COVID-19 specifically. Other lifestyle factors that are thought to contribute to more severe cases are smoking and vaping.
However, even those that get mild cases are thought to be healthy can pass along the virus to others. Since you never really know if the people around you are immune-compromised, the only way the keep people safe is to social distance, at least 6 feet away at all times.
What you do affects others in immeasurable ways
You can feel absolutely fine and still pass it along to others, without even having one symptom. It’s also wise to remember that whomever you come into contact with, such as a partner who has their own apartment, or a friend who you see every day but do not live with, you are also intermingling with their roommates/family and vice versa. This is exactly how clusters of infection form and the disease is thought to spread the most in familial and work clusters.
Boredom is no reason to transmit the virus to anyone, especially, the weaker population. Speaking about this weekend’s flood to parks around NYC, Governor Cuomo summed it up best,
"I don't know what I'm saying that people don't get. I was in these parks. You would not know that anything is going on. You would think it was just a bright, sunny Saturday... This is just a mistake. It's a mistake. It's insensitive. It's arrogant. It's self-destructive. It's disrespectful to other people."
“This amazing spirit of human solidarity must become even more infectious than the virus itself. Although we may have to be physically apart from each other for a while, we can come together in ways we never have before. We’re all in this together. And we can only succeed together. So the rule of the game is: together.”
Yes, your social life will change just as your work life has, but by staying at home you save others — and you may just save yourself, too.
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