Are Young Adults Bored With Social Distancing Causing a Surge in COVID-19 Cases?

July 28, 2020

    Boredom may be causing many young adults to break social distancing rules.

    As coronavirus numbers spike, the New York Times reports that data shows younger people are accounting for more cases.

    According to Bloomberg, “psychological fatigue with social distancing" is leading to an increased amount of infections among millennials and Gen-Z. As it drives more cases, it proves that lockdown and social distancing are not effective long-term solutions.

    In three months, the median age of new infections in Florida has gone from 65 in March to 35 in June, CNN noted.

    One of the main reasons is that young adults are less affected by the virus, but more affected economically.

    “They are the people who are most economically and socially affected with lockdowns, but who are least affected by the disease,” said Peter Collignon, a professor of clinical medicine at the Australian National University Medical School in Canberra, “The problem we’ve got is people we most need to change their behavior are the 20- and 30-year-olds.”

    The publication notes that since young people are less at risk for contracting the novel virus, they are more prone to breaking the rules and adopting a more carefree attitude.

    While the CDC continues to emphasize the importance of wearing masks, washing your hands, and social distancing, experts believe the age profile has changed, in part, due to relaxed attitudes among younger groups paralleled with the reopening of bars, restaurants, and offices. Some are even more comfortable attending house parties.

    “The 20- to 40-year-olds appear to be spreading the infection unperceived. They are just as easily infected as the elderly, but much more likely to show no or mild symptoms,” Bromage wrote in a CNN article.

    Public figures such as director of U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, have been pleading with the younger population to bear more responsibility.

    Collignon says it boils down to one question: “How do you maintain behavior in that group, when the consequences for them medically are much less than 70 or 80-years olds, yet the economic consequences are much higher for them?”

    “That’s a dilemma that I don’t know the answer to," he added.

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