This ain’t good news for thirty somethings. And it has nothing to do with twerking.
Take a look at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Covid Data Tracker. Sort for those in the 30 to 39 years age group, and you’ll find numbers going in the wrong direction. See that graph of new hospital admissions for Covid-19 per 100,000 people in the population over time? That line going seemingly straight up after June 29, 2021, is looking a little like what happened to the price of dogecoin in December 2020. Back on June 29, there were 0.45 reported hospitalizations per 100,000 people in this age group. Well, by August 11, this number had jumped up to 2.52. This was higher than the 2.48 for August 10, which was higher than the 2.44 for August 9 and well you get the picture.
Yep, it shows that Covid-19 hospitalizations for children have been going up and up in July and August. While some may thought this might be a “horny” Summer, according to Rebecca Jennings writing for Vox, Summer 2021 is turning out to be a really thorny Summer. There have been 170,852 total hospital admissions among thirty somethings from the beginning of August to August 11. From the week of July 29-August 4 to the week of August 5-August 11, the seven-day average of admissions jumped from 908 to 1113. In the words of Ron Burgundy from the 2004 movie Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, “Boy, that escalated quickly.”
Megan Thee Stallion may have promised to release a sequel to the 2019 song “Hot Girl Summer.” But this Summer has become “The Covid-19 Coronavirus Strikes Back.” There was too much premature relaxation going on back in the Spring. And as you know, premature release can lead to disappointment and messy situations. People were ditching face masks as if they were fingerless gloves or sweater vests. They were also replacing social distancing with social closening and social “how you doin.” They had goals and aspirations that they wanted to fulfill, such as the following:
But someone forgot to tell the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Instead, the virus said “Call me, definitely,” and just kept spreading, just kept spreading. And now the more contagious Delta variant of the Covid-19 coronavirus has taken hold, like a thong in the country’s butt.
The Delta variant is one reason why the Covid-19 coronavirus seems to be affecting more and more younger folks. More contagious and more transmissible means spread faster and further. The earlier part of the pandemic hit older individuals more, leaving more of the younger crowd susceptible.
Vaccination rates are probably playing a role as well. According to CDC data, as of August 15, less than half (49.9%) of those 20 to 39 years of age have been fully vaccinated. Compare that 59.1% of 40 somethings, 68.4% of those in the 50-to-64 year age range, 82.6% in the 65-to-74 age range, and 78.3% in the 75-plus age range. That’s going to leave quite a few thirty somethings as risk for not only catching the virus but having worse Covid-19 outcomes.
Then there’s the mixing. Not alcoholic drink mixing but people mixing, although alcohol may be involved. The spread of a respiratory infectious disease tends to mirror social patterns. So the first people to jump back on Tinder and say, “hey, random stranger, you are holding a fish in your profile picture, not many people can do that, let’s meet up,” may be the first to contract and spread the virus. The same can go for those who leapt back into traveling as if they wanted to squeeze a trip in before Earth turns into a giant Hot Pocket next year. (Don’t worry. That amount of climate change will not happen that quickly. Give it at least a few more years.)
OK, it’s time to ditch the notion that Covid-19 is mainly a Boomer disease. Sure, younger folks may be still less likely to get severe Covid-19 when they are infected with the virus. But younger folks can still get quite sick. A Covid-19 coronavirus infection can be a bit like twerking. The older you are, the more dangerous it can be. However, that doesn’t mean that you can twerk with impunity even though you consider yourself to be young. Even a teenager can pull something, break some chairs, or lose a job opportunity by twerking. Similarly, as the data clearly shows, even a teenager can have a very bad outcome from Covid-19, let alone an adult in his or her thirties.
Don’t rest all of your hopes on being fully vaccinated. That would be like saying, “as long as I am wearing underwear, everything will be OK.” The reaction that you’ve received every time you have showed up at a job interview in just your underwear should be a reminder that your underwear alone is not enough. Similarly, right now, being fully vaccinated alone is not enough. The Covid-19 vaccines can offer very good protection. But as I have written previously for Forbes, they aren’t like full body concrete condoms. Unlike avocado toast, they aren’t perfect. They do not offer 100% protection. So you’ve gotta layer on other Covid-19 precautions like social distancing and face masks while the pandemic is still on like a burning bong.
Some day, when the Covid-19 coronavirus is better under control and not circulating as widely, being fully vaccinated should be enough to protect you. But that time has not come yet. As with every big thing that you encounter in your 30’s, whether it’s finding the right partner, getting on track in a career, or training yourself to not twerk so much, it’s gonna require a little patience, in the words of Guns N’ Roses.