Well you sure nailed it on those inconsiderate sixty-five-year-olds. They’re just so thoughtless.
Virus cases surge among the young
By CARLA K. JOHNSON and TAMARA LUSH
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. Coronavirus cases are climbing rapidly among young adults in a number of states where bars, stores and restaurants have reopened, a disturbing generational shift that not only puts them in greater peril than many realize but poses an even bigger danger to older people who cross their paths.
In Oxford, Mississippi, summer fraternity parties sparked outbreaks. In Oklahoma City, church activities, fitness classes, weddings and funerals seeded infections among people in their 20s, 30s and 40s. In Iowa college towns, surges followed the reopening of bars. A cluster of hangouts near Louisiana State University led to at least 100 customers and employees testing positive. In East Lansing, Michigan, an outbreak tied to a brew pub spread to 25 people ages 18 to 23.
There and in states like Florida, Texas and Arizona, young people have started going out again, many without masks, in what health experts see as irresponsible behavior.
"The virus hasn't changed. We have changed our behaviors," said Ali Mokdad, professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. "Younger people are more likely to be out and taking a risk."
In Florida, young people ages 15 to 34 now make up 31% of all cases, up from 25% in early June. Last week, more than 8,000 new cases were reported in that age group, compared with about 2,000 among people 55 to 64 years old. And experts say the phenomenon cannot be explained away as simply the result of more testing.
Elected officials such as Florida's governor have argued against reimposing restrictions, saying many of the newly infected are young and otherwise healthy. But younger people, too, face the possibility of severe infection and death. And authorities worry that older, more vulnerable people are next.
"People between the ages 18 and 50 don't live in some sort of a bubble," said Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt. "They are the children and grandchildren of vulnerable people. They may be standing next to you at a wedding. They might be serving you a meal in a restaurant."
The virus has taken a frightful toll on the elderly in the U.S., which leads the world in total deaths, at over 120,000, and confirmed infections, at more than 2.3 million. Eight out of 10 deaths in the U.S. have been in people 65 and older. In contrast, confirmed coronavirus deaths among 18-to-34-year-olds number in the hundreds, though disease trackers are clamoring for more accurate data.
For months, elderly people were more likely to be diagnosed with the virus, too. But figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that almost as soon as states began reopening, the picture flipped, with people 18 to 49 years old quickly becoming the age bracket most likely to be diagnosed with new cases.
And although every age group saw an increase in cases during the first week in June, the numbers shot up fastest among 18-to-49-yearolds. For the week ending June 7, there were 43 new cases per 100,000 people in that age bracket, compared with 28 cases per 100,000 people over 65.
With the shift toward younger people, some hospitals are seeing a smaller share of their COVID-19 patients needing intensive care treatment such as breathing machines.