For the sake of others, get used to the new norm


Andreas Backhaus

Graph created by Andreas Backhaus showing age distribution of COVID-19 cases in South Korea and Italy.

As COVID-19 takes over both the nation and the world, governments urge citizens to stay indoors and avoid large gatherings. The CDC recently recommended against events of over 50 people, and President Trump lowered that number to 10 people. Teenagers and young adults, however, have been seen ignoring these suggestions nationwide, whether to take advantage of empty beaches, get in extra practices for spring sports, or simply go out with friends.

To those still heading out, please stop and consider the detriment of your actions for disease containment.

Globally, those in their late teens and early twenties are most likely to unwittingly transmit COVID-19. Italy only tested those with symptoms, whereas South Korea tested everyone, picking up more mild cases. Belgian economist Andreas Backhaus’s graph of the data shows a clear difference in the age distribution of coronavirus cases between the two countries: in Italy 40-year-olds and above account for 90% of cases; while in South Korea, they only account for about 50% of cases.

Why? In South Korea, those in their 20s make-up 30% of those with coronavirus, compared to 4% in Italy.

The elderly show symptoms and suffer most while young adults are the most common carriers. The elderly take the blunt force of a virus transmitted by young adults ignoring government recommendations.

“Young people need to take this very seriously,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of White House Coronavirus Task Force. “You have a…societal responsibility to protect the vulnerable, and you do that, interestingly, by not letting yourself get infected. You need to make sure that you don’t inadvertently pass on the infection to someone who would not fare as well as you fare because you’re young and healthy.”

Americans need to take COVID-19 seriously – America is currently on pace to surpass Italy in both infections and deaths. What does this mean for youths? Please, besides trips for essentials, do high-risk individuals a favor and stay at home during this COVID-induced break. Your freedom is not worth someone else’s life.