Young but not immune

As the youth of the nation fail to heed warnings about social distancing, they discover they are not immune to COVID-19

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Photo courtesy of Tenesha Green

Tenesha Green, Managing Editor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.— “If I get corona, I get corona,” said Brady Sluder. “At the end of the day, I’m not going to let it stop me from partying. You know, I’ve been waiting, we’ve been waiting for Miami spring break for a while. About two months we’ve had this trip planned and we’re just out here having a good time. Whatever happens, happens.”

Sluder, an Ohio native, was featured in a news video that went viral of spring breakers in Miami not taking the recommended precautionary measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, coronavirus is “a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.”

It was first believed that COVID-19 was only something that older people or ones with compromised immune systems needed to be worried about. While it’s true that the elderly seem to have some of the most cause for concern, research has been done and new facts have come to light about the virus.

The CDC has put out new data that shows that “nearly 40 percent of patients sick enough to be hospitalized were aged 20 to 54.” It was also discovered that young adults ages 20-44 make up almost one-third of the coronavirus cases in the United States.

After 44 college students in Texas still went on spring break to Mexico, despite warnings to avoid gatherings of ten or more people, and almost half of them came back and tested positive for COVID-19 many officials were upset. This included the Texas House Speaker, Dennis Bonnen.

“Whether you think this is an issue or not, it is whether you think it could affect you or not, it does,” Bonnen said in an interview with CNN affiliate KXAN. “The reality of it is, if I’m a college kid who’s going to spring break in Mexico, you’re affecting a lot of people. Grow up.”

In Northeast Florida, Mayor Lenny Curry shut down all Jacksonville area beaches on March 20. The governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, issued a statewide stay-at-home order on April 2 that would go into effect at 12:01 am on April 3. Both were done to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

While the number of cases and deaths climb higher each day across the U.S., social distancing is still the recommended path to follow. Tamara Scantlebury, a junior communication major, explains that the end result of social distancing will be worth it.

“It will all pay off soon,” said Scantlebury. “Take this time to learn about yourself, pick up a new hobby, enjoy 30 minutes of yoga and begin to truly engage in a conversation with your family. Outside will be back sooner than you know and you will be ready to be back inside.”

Kristina Montina, a sophomore nursing major, has been studying germs, bacteria, and viruses very closely and believes that as a society we can overcome this pandemic.

“To overcome this pandemic we must believe we can,” said Montina. “Take care of yourself. It doesn’t hurt to wash your hands multiple times a day or even staying home to get to know your family on a deeper level.”

The stay-at-home order eliminates all “non-essential” movement in the state of Florida. The exceptions to the order include “going to church, recreational activities, and taking care of loved ones and pets,” according to WFLA Channel News 8. Although the statistics are frightening, by social distancing and taking other precautionary measures, the virus’ curve can be flattened.

“The word ‘pandemic’ results in fear,” said Montina. “We shouldn’t live our lives in fear because it takes away the beauty of life. It makes us believe we’re incapable of overcoming.”