The President of the United States has asked people to stay at home to flatten the curve by social distancing. But, not everyone is listening.
There are already 15,219 confirmed and presumptive cases of coronavirus in the US, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Governments around the country have asked people to maintain social distancing and stay home for several weeks. It has come to light that asymptomatic younger people may be spreading the disease to others. While some youngsters across the globe are being responsible, there are others who believe that they don't need to stop living their lives since they believe they won't be affected by it.
Experts have explained how youngsters moving raises the risk of the virus spreading. Those that fall in the high-risk category will be the most impacted, such as the elderly and those suffering from pre-existing health conditions.
Yet, some educated college students in the US have paid no heed to these facts. Their priorities were clear through their words and actions when they decided to party in the outdoors on the beaches of Florida and other states, despite the health warnings by the experts. This doesn't just increase the chances of the thousands of youth to be exposed to the virus, but also their loved ones and others who will come in contact with them. While these beaches offer the students a time to let loose for a week, it's going against the guidelines of limiting social gathering to 10 or less, according to Business Insider.
"We don't want them gathering, and I see that they do gather including on beaches, and including in restaurants, young people," President Donald Trump said on March 18, as per CNN. "They don't realize that—they're feeling invincible, I don't know if you felt invincible when you were very young ... But they don't realize that they can be carrying lots of bad things home to grandmother and grandfather and even their parents," he added.
This is the beach in Ponte Vedra Florida near Jacksonville today. @RonDeSantisFL you are causing this virus to go from the Florida beaches across the country. The gun stores that you are keeping open will not stop the virus. This is the most irresponsible decision. Why? pic.twitter.com/oqOOCRDmgc— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) March 23, 2020
In Clearwater, Florida, thousands gathered to party flouting the social distancing guidelines, according to CBS News. Videos and social media posts show how largescale the parties are, with thousands of spring-breakers thronging to the waters. Considering how quickly the pandemic can turn all the more disastrous, the mayor of Miami-Dade County, Carlos Gimenez, has ordered for all marinas and ramps to be shut in the county.
According to WSVN 7News Miami, the Mayor announced, “Effective immediately, all boat ramps at Miami-Dade County parks will be closed until further notice. All marinas will be closed to all boating activities, with the exception of commercial fisherman who provides food for restaurants and markets. In addition, I am ordering the closure of all boat ramps and marinas countywide.”
Clearwater Beach, Florida is PACKED today despite "social distancing" recommendations.— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) March 16, 2020
We Americans sure can be a dumb lot...pic.twitter.com/LRU06h2d03
Last week, a video from a "booze cruise" in Nassau, Bahamas was shared on social media and deleted eventually after severe backlash. Jake Jacobsen, vice president of STS Travel, told Business Insider that only 20% of those who had travel plans have canceled. Appalled at the behavior, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned young people against their complacency in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Students are sent home and they take it to the beaches & bars in Fort Lauderdale Florida right now. Are they wise to have fun like this? pic.twitter.com/SL0i0UCPfR— Alex Jungle (@AlexJungle2) March 15, 2020
"Although older people are hardest hit, younger people are not spared. Data from many countries clearly show that people under 50 make up a significant proportion of patients requiring hospitalization," Tedros told a virtual press conference, according to the World Economic Forum. "Today I have a message for young people: You are not invincible, this virus could put you in hospital for weeks or even kill you. Even if you don’t get sick the choices you make about where you go could be the difference between life and death for someone else," he said.
But some people just don't get it.
“If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I'm not gonna let it stop me from partying”: Spring breakers are still flocking to Miami, despite coronavirus warnings. https://t.co/KoYKI8zNDH pic.twitter.com/rfPfea1LrC— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 18, 2020
"They are congregating in groups where it accelerates transmission," said Dr. Greg Poland, an infectious disease professor at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, to CNN. "For example, social groups, colleges and universities, clubs, gyms, etcetera."
Florida has taken strict measures and ordered every single bar and nightclub to close for 30 days. The governor also recommended that the state's 12 public universities need to enforce distance learning for all students through the end of the semester. Before the shutdown was called for, the beaches looked lively and busy.
BUSY BEACH! This is what @MyClearwater Beach looks like right now as spring break crowds flock to the sand. #Clearwater leaders haven’t decided if they should add a curfew or close beaches but they may vote on measures related to the #coronavirus this Thursday. @abcactionnews pic.twitter.com/jGoxQdYJg5— Sarah J. Hollenbeck (@SarahHollenbeck) March 16, 2020
But after the officials called for a complete lockdown, the beach looks almost unrecognizable, according to LA Times.
The mayor's note sums up the sense of urgency we all feel. “We are in a state of emergency, and I cannot stress enough the need for personal responsibility,” Gimenez said, according to NBC Miami. Emphasizing the need for everyone to work together, he added, “Current guidelines call for gatherings to be limited to groups of 10 or fewer. These sacrifices in our social lives are critical now in order to defeat COVID-19.”
Disclaimer: Information about COVID-19 is swiftly changing, and Women Working is committed to providing the most recent and verified updates in our articles and reportage. However, considering the frequency in developments, some of the information/data in this article may have changed since the time of publication. Therefore, we encourage you to also regularly check online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization.