Young people aren’t immune from coronavirus

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Hello, my name is Hannah Zimmers and I am an 18-year-old living in Wilson County. I have noticed an extreme lack of concern and cautiousness among my generation about the spread of the coronavirus and I felt the need to speak out on the subject.

The number of cases are increasing at a staggering amount each day in the United States — in New York alone, it has reached more than 15,000 cases as of Sunday. If it is indeed so serious, and Italy has been warning us of the seriousness for weeks, then why are many Gen-Z’ers and millenials treating it so lightly?

It is appalling to me to see so many youth my age living with such selfishness and blindness to the world around them. I’m seeing this reaction from people even in my own friend groups and I hope they come to realize the truth. Our reality right now: People are dying. We can prevent more from falling victim to this illness, but we must put aside our own selfish needs to do so.

Yes, it may be uncomfortable. Yes, it may cause us to become socially withdrawn for a while. However, when we compare temporary displeasure with millions of lives being saved, the solution to the dilemma should be obvious.

It is my hope and prayer that my peers will come to realize that the coronavirus isn’t a joke, a political issue or something irrelevant to them. The virus does primarily affect people 65 and older, but young people are not immune. I have a friend who works at the COVID-19 unit in a hospital, and she described how young people are coming in constantly, severely sick.

“As someone who works in the COVID unit at our hospital, this isn’t a joke. I’ve seen very young ‘healthy’ individuals get very sick. It’s super, super scary. Yes, most of them will recover, but they will also most likely pass it on to those who won’t. I saw a 30-ish-year-old patient yesterday on a ventilator. It’s terrifying. There’s so much we don’t know about this,” she said.

To all of my Gen-Z and millenial friends right now doubting the severity of this virus, I beg you to reconsider your stance and read up on the facts.

Hannah Zimmers