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Millennials, Gen-Zers at greater risk for serious health issues as a result of COVID-19

Millennials, Gen-Zers at greater risk for serious health issues as a result of COVID-19

Dr. Norman Swan Talks about young people and the COVID-19 epidemic. Courtesy of: ABC Australia Coronacast podcast.

During a morning press conference with the White House, Ambassador Dr. Deborah Birx announced that millennials may be at a higher risk for contracting a serious COVID-19 virus-related illness than the administration had previously announced.

“There are concerning reports coming out of France and Italy about some young people getting seriously ill in the ICU,” said Birx, “We think part of this may be that people heeded the early data coming out of China and coming out of South Korea”.

This comes after reports out of Florida indicate that many people are still gathering at the beaches across the state despite explicit warning from the World Health Organization to practice social distancing. While Florida Governor DeSantis announced that it would close all bars and nightclubs on March 17, the statement made no mention of restaurants and beaches. 

On March 11, The Florida State University Board of Governors directed all schools to migrate all courses online. 

Florida Gulf Coast University continued classes for an additional two days, holding students on campus despite being advised to suspend courses until they could implement the new mandate.

The University announced it would begin online courses on March 23. This order was later expanded to the remainder of the semester.

Meanwhile, students have been seen in local bars, clubs and shopping centers and encouraging large gatherings with friends. 

One Twitter user wrote, “FGCU students need to take these class cancellations and go on a trip. Tickets are cheap, hotels are cheap, life is good. I wish I could go with y’all.” 

Dr. Norman Swan, a Scottish-Australian physician who has been closely following the pandemic, warns that this is not to be taken lightly by millennials.

“Intensive care units across China and across Italy are full of people who are young. And it’s the young who are dying with no obvious risk factors,” Swan said. 

According to Swan, this leaves many hospitals in the position to make a “difficult ethical decision” when facing limited resources and having to choose between a younger and older patient requiring intensive care. 

The United States remains behind in terms of testing, producing fewer tests than South Korea, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom in tests per million people. 

There have been roughly 59,000 tests processed for a population of nearly 330 million Americans so far, according to Vice President Mike Pence. 

This comes with a 7% positive rate for all tests administered. South Korea, where nearly 10,000 tests have been administered per day, is seeing a 3% positive rate. Experts are concerned that this indicates that America has a much larger problem on its hands. 

During a recent White House press briefing, Secretary of The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service Alex Azar warned that this could be a precedent of a catastrophic event. 

“Any pandemic like this runs the risk of exceeding our health care capacity, and we must acknowledge that,” Azar said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been working closely with the White House’s coronavirus task force sends a much graver message about the path we are on.

Fauci warns that if we continue on the trajectory we have begun to see, America could see hundreds of thousands if not millions of deaths. Officials have closely monitored trajectories of other countries to draw comparison to the situation domestically.

“Yes, it is possible. Our job, our challenge, is to try and make that not happen,” Fauci said.

The esteemed director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases made an appearance on Barstool Sports podcast “Pardon My Take” on Tuesday night where he pleaded with young Americans to take action.

Fauci urged generation z and millennial Americans to begin to take the measures they have been urged to seriously and to do their part in slowing down infection and “flattening the curve”,  a term used to describe the process of slowing down transmission rates in order for the health infrastructure to handle all critical cases, versus being inundated with intensive care patience.

This all comes as experts warn that they are seeing an increase in severe cases among college age students in Italy and other parts of the world.

“You are an important part of the active plan to contain this epidemic,” Fauci said. “We really do need you, this isn’t something that can be successful without you.”

About The Author

Travis Brown

Travis is a Senior at Florida Gulf Coast University, majoring in Journalism and Communication with a concentration in Public Relations. With a background in marketing and analytics, Travis also works in breaking news with a diverse background in sociology and civics.

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