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Your Age Does Not Make You Safe From Coronavirus - Please Stop Partying

Young people partying
Michael  W. Smith, MD - Blogs
By Michael W. Smith, MDBoard-certified internistMarch 26, 2020
From the WebMD Archives

“Coronavirus parties”? Partying on the beach during spring break?

I guess you think you’re safe from the coronavirus?

You're not.

This virus is affecting far more “young” people than originally thought. We’re not talking about just mild infections that you’ll get over in a few days. In one recent CDC report, nearly 40% of people sick enough to be hospitalized were between the ages of 20 and 54, some of these critically ill. And according to another CDC report, 20% of COVID-19 deaths in the US were between the ages of 20 and 64.

While coronavirus does affect children less severely than other age groups, by the age of 20, you’re entering a danger zone. A report last week showed young adults 20 to 44 are significantly more likely to require hospitalization and ICU care than teenagers. And there’s nothing unique about you that makes you any different from the people in these news stories – the virus could get you, too.

And even if it doesn’t get you in a serious way, you might be responsible for giving it to your friends or family. Because when someone is infected, they’re likely to infect 2 to 4 more people. Those 2 to 4 people then infect 2 to 4 more. And so an outbreak goes. Your reckless behavior could lead to countless infections and preventable deaths – young and old.

And that’s not all.

You’re also doing damage to the entire country. By not doing your part to slow the virus, you’re prolonging the country’s shutdown, leaving many wondering where their next meal will come from.

I beg you to just stop the nonsense. Do you really want to live the rest of your life knowing that your choices helped fuel the spread of a deadly virus?

Yes, I know you want to stay connected with your friends that you seemingly can’t live without right now, but there are many ways you can do that. I don’t need to run through all your options. You’re technically savvy enough to figure that out.

You know that each generation’s choices have a downstream effect – you’ve seen what older generations’ choices have done to our planet. And keep in mind, those generations didn’t even know that what they were doing would have consequences – they didn’t have the science or the understanding to know the impact. But you do. You have a chance to make better choices than they did – you have the chance to protect the generations that come after you.

I personally don’t know anyone who has become severely ill or died from COVID-19 – yet. But all of us know people who have an uncertain future if this outbreak doesn’t wrap up quickly so they can get back to work. Do your part. Protect lives – your own and others’ – and protect the future of this country. Stop the parties. Stay home.

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About the Author
Michael W. Smith, MD

Michael Smith, MD, CPT, is a board-certified internal medicine doctor and WebMD’s Chief Medical Editor. He is also an American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer with a passion for helping people live a healthy, active lifestyle. He appears regularly as an expert on national and local broadcast media.

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