S T. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Coronavirus infections are increasing rapidly among young Americans in several states where bars, shops, and restaurants have reopened.
It is a disturbing generational shift that puts young people in greater danger than many believe and poses an even greater danger to older people who cross their path.
National figures show that almost as soon as states began to reopen, people ages 18-49 quickly became the age group most likely to be diagnosed with new cases. And although each age group experienced an increase in cases during the first week of June, the numbers shot up faster in the younger age group.
“The virus has not changed. We have changed our behaviors, ”said Ali Mokdad, professor of health metric science at the University of Washington in Seattle according to The Associated Press. “Younger people are more likely to go out and take risks.”
In Florida, people ages 15-34 account for nearly a third of all COVID-19 cases in the state. Last week, two 17-year-olds died after contracting the virus.
Authorities fear an increase in infections among older Americans may come later.
“People between the ages of 18 and 50 don’t live in a kind of bubble,” Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt said, according to The Associated Press. “They are children and grandchildren of vulnerable people. They can be by your side at a wedding. You may be serving a meal in a restaurant.