Following a barrage of media reports showcasing spring-breakers partying on beaches and New Yorkers continuing to congregate in public parks, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams issued out a dire warning:
Take the threat of coronavirus seriously, or else things are going to get worse.
This week in particular will undoubtedly be the worst one yet, Adams said on Monday morning, while speaking as a guest on the “TODAY” show.
Surgeon General has coronavirus warning: 'This week, it's going to get bad'https://t.co/fPvEWCNdZT
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 23, 2020
“I want America to understand this week, it’s going to get bad,” Adams said.
The reasons for why things were getting worse were simple: people aren’t adhering to guidelines to socially distance themselves from others.
“Right now, there are not enough people out there who are taking this seriously,” Adams added.
The Surgeon General noted that young people needed to treat the threat of the disease differently — to act as if “they have the virus right now,” as he put it. “So, test or no test, we need you to understand you could be spreading it to someone else. Or you could be getting it from someone else. Stay at home.”
Coronavirus is spreading because people are not staying at home and practicing social distancing. "This week, it's going to get bad," U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said. https://t.co/tNpZi7nIgT
— Lincoln Journal Star (@JournalStarNews) March 23, 2020
While Adams’ words should be heeded, young people in general are not the only ones not listening to the CDC when it comes to how they should behave during this crisis. In fact, empirical evidence suggests it’s older generations who need to change their mindsets.
According to an Economist/YouGov poll conducted last week, among those who were asked whether they changed their behavior due to the spread of COVID-19, those between the ages of 18 to 29 were the age bracket who responded most in the affirmative, with 50 percent saying they did. Among 45-64 year-olds, only 37 percent said they changed their behaviors.
There is also a noticeable partisan divide in who is taking the spread of the disease seriously. Among Democrats, 52 percent said they changed their normal behavior in last week’s poll, while only 35 percent of Republicans said the same.
Chris Walker is a freelance journalist based in Madison, Wisconsin, who focuses on news, politics, and analysis of world events. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, since 2005 Chris has reported on workers’ rights protests in Wisconsin, opined on four separate presidential elections and written on a number of other political subjects for a variety of national online publications.