Parents, beware! New evidence from China, US and Europe suggests that although older people are hardest hit by COVID-19, younger people are not spared and therefore they should not view themselves as immune to the deadly virus.
Although the data from China showed that the elderly and those with other health conditions are the most vulnerable, young people — from twenty-somethings to those in their early forties — are falling seriously ill. In Italy, the most hit country in Europe, almost one-fourth of the nearly 28,000 coronavirus patients are between the ages of 19 and 50, according to Statista.
US has also seen similar trends. Among nearly 2,500 of the first coronavirus cases in that country, 705 were between the age group of 20 to 44, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Even the Director-General of World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently sounded an alarm while warning young people against complacency.
According to WHO data, people under 50 make up a significant proportion of patients requiring hospitalisation. The WHO chief's comments came after reports that young people in many countries are being complacent about health warnings.
Coronavirus can sicken or kill young people as well and they must also avoid mingling and spreading it to older and more vulnerable people, the health body said.
Practise physical distancing, get socially connected
During a recent press briefing, WHO used the phrase 'physical distancing' and not social distancing as you just need to physically separate yourself from others, but still remain socially connected. This move would break the chain of transmission.
Amid global shortages of protective gear for health workers and diagnostic tests, there is only one mantra to keep coronavirus at bay - physical distancing as mass gatherings will not only amplify the disease but can disseminate it very quickly.
Experts say the most powerful and only tool we have left to flatten the ascending coronavirus curve is physical distancing. Yet far too many people are falling short of what’s needed.
A study on physical distancing, published in The Lancet, said the closure of educational institutions and workplaces in Wuhan city in Hubei province of China, the epicentre of the coronavirus, reduced the number of COVID-19 cases and substantially delayed the epidemic peak -- giving the health system time to respond.
Go home and stay home
Remember, anybody can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms. Therefore...
- Only go outside for food and medicine (where this absolutely cannot be done from home) which must be as infrequent as possible.
- Stay 1 metre away from other people
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home