Youth and the feeling of invincibility, or at least feeling stronger, is a state of mind that many people grow up with.
While strength, the ability to bounce back and a few other perks are usually coupled with young age; things like car accidents and sickness affect people the same, regardless of age. And with a viral disease that actually has a higher fatality rate among older people, like COVID-19, young people have been approaching the pandemic with different responses.
“I feel like when the outbreak first started hitting China and first in the news it was pretty commonly reported that it didn’t affect young people, and that led to my personal belief that it wasn’t really going to affect me. But over time that viewpoint has changed, and it has become more and more scary,” said Jacob Dodelson, a senior neuroscience major at Colorado College.
This was a feeling that was echoed by many young adults in the weeks leading up to many states issuing the stay at home order.
This was most likely driven by early statistics that showed the virus disproportionately impacted older individuals in China. And while about 80% of all deaths from the virus are still among people 65 and older according to the CDC, other complications from young people with the virus, like strokes, are seeing a huge increase.
And despite many young folks knowing that their rate of catching and spreading the virus likely increased with travel and socializing, they still chose to go to locations like Cancun and Miami for Spring Break.
“If I get Corona, I get Corona, said Brady Sluder in an interview with CBS News in late March. “At the end of the day I am not going to let it stop me from partying, we’ve been waiting for Miami Spring Break for a while, we have had this trip planned for two-three months,” he continued.
Since the Sluder’s interview went viral there have been numerous reports of both younger people still being able to contract and become ill and reports of teens unfortunately dying from the virus as well. And although death rates for young people may not be at the same as other age demographics, the contraction rate is relatively the same across the board, making it more dangerous for other age groups that are less likely to recover.