ORLANDO, Fla. — With the age of new coronavirus cases trending younger across Florida, health experts are digging into why this is happening.
Health officials told Spectrum News that people in the 18-35 age range think because they're young, if they get the virus, they'll be fine.
Because of that, they say younger adults are less likely to take precautions to protect themselves and less likely to understand the risk.
Twenty-two-year-old Kaitlyn Driskell's running routine took a turn when some of her friends got diagnosed with COVID-19, and she goes the distance to make sure she and her family aren't next.
"My grandpa's 85. He's got Parkinson's, and I see him a lot," Driskell said. "So I kind of watch who I'm around just for the sake of other people."
UCF Health Sciences Professor Michael Rovito says the latest COVID-19 data proves young people are not invincible.
"The superman or woman mindset is that you don't always think about underlying conditions when you're 25. You're more worried about socializing," Rovito said. "And yeah, I mean, all it could take is one underlying health condition to exacerbate this."
Rovito says the young people you see walking around without masks or out at bars with big groups aren't in the hospitals as much, but they're also not visiting their doctors as much. That means less data about how COVID-19 affects young adults.
"They kind of take it as the flu," Driskell said. "If they get it, they're going to get over it kind of thing."
Rovito says it’s a slippery slope.
"They were talking about hospitalizations and how they are seeing more and more serious cases among the younger population, although there is messaging that suggests that most of these younger individuals are asymptomatic," Rovito said.
That's why he says taking on an interdependent mindset is key, because someone you care about could get the virus from you, even if you feel completely fine, and never show a symptom.
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