New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had a stark warning for young people who continue to congregate in bars, restaurants, and beaches as confirmed cases of coronavirus skyrocket around the country.
“These pictures of people on beaches, these videos of young people saying, ‘This is my spring break, I’m out to party,'” Cuomo said in a Thursday morning press briefing from Albany, New York’s capital. “This is so unintelligent and reckless. I can’t even begin to express it.”
While Cuomo was referring to the now-infamous images and videos of college kids partying in Florida for their spring break while much of the country — and the world — remains under varying degrees of quarantine, his message was also directed at young people in New York as well.
“I can order a quarantine of 10,000 people, but I can’t order my daughter to do anything,” Cuomo said, as his 22-year old daughter, Michaela Kennedy-Cuomo, joined him at the conference to urge young people to practice social distancing and avoid congregating in large groups.
For his part, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said on Fox News that the “party’s over” in Florida as he ordered bars, non-essential retailer, and some beaches in spring break hotspots to close.
Young people are far from immune to the virus
Eighty percent of the deaths associated with coronavirus in the US have been among people 65 and older, according to a recent report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And for those over 85, the risk of dying from coronavirus is above 10%.
That doesn’t mean that young people are immune from risks, however. The same CDC report shows that 40% of patients who contracted coronavirus and needed hospitalization were between 20 and 54.
Social distancing is one of the best ways to reduce the spread of the virus and help protect elderly people and those with underlying health risks.
Researchers with the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team modeled a number of different scenarios of how the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic might play out. In the absence of pharmaceutical treatments or a preventive vaccine for the virus, and without any social distancing measures that could slow its spread, they anticipate 81% of the populations in the UK and US will get infected.