The messaging was clear all along, people who are older and who have pre-existing conditions are more prone to acquire coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Why is that so? It’s simply because as you get older, your immunity, which is your defense system gets weaker. Thus, making you more vulnerable to this dreaded disease. But the World Health Organization (WHO) has recently changed its tune and warned the younger generation to not take it lightly.
COVID-19 has been wreaking havoc and has caused panic worldwide. In spite of the palpable fear before us, the younger generation was deemed to be complacent about its threats, resulting in the WHO to send a stark warning.
“With more than 210,000 cases reported worldwide and a death toll of 9,000, each day brings a “new and tragic milestone,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “Although older people are hardest hit, younger people are not spared.” WHO also added that 10 percent of the people who are in ICUs in Italy are in their 20s, 30s or 40s — these are young, healthy people with no co-morbidities, no other diseases.
What do the data say?
“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. “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 added.
What does it mean to the younger generation?
This is such a serious threat that we should not take lightly and we are pleading the younger generation to heed WHO’s advice. This is a terrifying moment in our history and all of us should stay vigilant. Yes, we want to have some sense of normalcy by going out and meeting with friends as we don’t want to feel restricted. But we also need to understand the gravity of the situation and why certain parameters like the enhanced community quarantine are being enforced. WHO has recommended social distancing to prevent the transmission of the virus. Adhering to it and staying at home is the only way that we can protect ourselves and the people we love.
This is a catastrophe and a ticking time bomb unfolding before us. People say that if you’re young, it’s more likely that you can recover easily from it. Yes, it can be true, but these recent developments, according to WHO suggest otherwise. It can be fatal to everyone regardless of age.
What can we do?
The younger generation is known for being free-spirited and strong-willed. But now is the best time to show that we can also follow. We don’t want to wake up one day being overwhelmed by the number of fatalities and we just have to succumb to it just like what happened in Italy.
The explosion of the virus is an onslaught that we can still stop. Jose Rizal said that the youth is the hope of the nation, let’s prove him right and show in solidarity that we can fight this by following orders and staying at home. This is a call to action because it is urgently needed! Let’s not mess around by being selfish in taking unnecessary risks. Prove to everyone that we are not an entitled generation and as much as we love ourselves, we deeply care for others as well.
Arthur Tolentino is a creative who has diverse interests from creative writing to hairstyling and pageant coaching. Being passionate that he is, he loves pop culture and loves to talk about anything and everything under the sun.