Today during a White House press conference Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said that young people are also at risk and possibly more so than we thought a week ago. “There are concerning reports coming out of France and Italy about some young people getting seriously ill in ICUs,” she said. “We think part of this is people heeded the early data coming out of China and coming out of South Korea that the elderly or those with preexisting medical conditions were at particular risk. It may have been that the millennial generation, our largest generation, our future generation that will carry us through for the next multiple decades, there may be disproportional infections among that group.”
She added: “So, even if it is a rare occurrence, it may be seen more frequently in that group and be evident now.”
This may be very surprising as well as difficult for people to hear as many people thought this was primarily an outbreak that was only impacting the elderly and those with existing medical conditions.
We saw this perverse sense of invincibility this weekend as college students (though they are Gen Z technically) still insisted on having the classic spring break and hanging out on crowded beaches in Florida. As of Tuesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered the closure of all bars and nightclubs in the state for 30 days but this weekend was a very crowded, disturbing scene.
Birx also emphasized that Millennials being impacted more than expected was especially bad for the future of the world. “We need [millennials] to be healthy,” she continued. “I’m not only calling on you to heed what’s in the guidance, but to make sure that each and every one of you are protecting each other.”
She implored Millennials to not keep having “large gatherings that continue to occur throughout the country for people who are off work to then be socializing in large groups and spreading the virus. You have the potential, then, to spread it to someone who does have a condition that none of us knew about and cause them to have a disastrous outcome.”
Dr. Anthony Fauc, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, echoed Birx’s statements earlier in the week on a Barstool podcast, “The younger individuals, people who are the millennials, people who are otherwise young and healthy, generally, with some exceptions, you’re not completely exempt from risk.” He continued, “The problem is, we need the young people to help us to protect the vulnerable because, when an individual who is young gets infected, and either has no symptoms at all, or even mild symptoms, that individual will continue the virus spreading in the community. You might inadvertently, even though you feel that you are invulnerable… even if you are doing very well, you have to be a very important part of our national effort to contain the outbreak.”
Fauc also implored Millennials to follow the rules of social distancing. “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.”
Touching at work
Interestingly, in a new survey of more than 1,000 U.S. employees from Reflektive, a performance management platform, when it comes to physical contact, flirtation, and fraternization—Gen Z is more closely aligned with the attitudes of the Baby Boomers than Millennials or Gen X.
For example, Gen Z (75%) and Boomers (80%) are significantly more likely than Millennials (48%) and Gen X (56%) to stay sitting on a colleague’s lap during work hours. Gen Z is also against flirting at the office, unlike their older colleagues. Millennials and Gen X flirt at work—a minority even say they’d flirt to get a promotion (13%) or on a bet (8%)—81% of Boomers and 71% of Gen Z say they never do. In fact, a startling 7% of Gen X say they slap colleagues on the butt at work. Gen Z is actually quite proper when it comes to acceptable physical contact practices with their colleagues at work.
Covid-19 is spreading because when an infected individual coughs or sneezes other people then inhale those droplets. The other way people are getting Coronavirus is because these droplets live on surfaces that we then touch.
As of Wednesday, March 18, there are over 7,300 confirmed cases of coronavirus in all 50 states in the US, including Washington, D.C.