The University of Tampa announced on Twitter what seemed to be the inevitable news that five students have tested positive for the coronavirus after returning from spring break.
UT has been notified that five UT students, traveling together and with other UT students during Spring Break, have tested positive for COVID-19. We sincerely wish our students, and any others who may be affected, a full and rapid recovery. https://t.co/MXl4e1v3gh
— The University of Tampa (@UofTampa) March 21, 2020
This follows weeks of warnings to beachfront businesses and tourists that congregating in close environments in the early stages of a pandemic is precisely how a virus can be transmitted to other people and exponentially worsen the damage as the vacationers bring the virus back home to their schools to spread it to more students.
On Saturday, March 21, the University of Tampa was able to determine that five students that traveled together al tested positive for the coronavirus. One of the five students reportedly lives off-campus, but all had interacted with other students becuase some campus buildings remained open during spring break.
CBS News posted a video on Twitter that highlighted the dismissive attitudes of many younger college students who chose to disregard the concerns of the public, the epidemiology experts and the government to avoid activities that have a high risk of spreading the coronavirus further and claiming more lives that could have been avoided.
“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
CBS News reported further on the behavior observed at several spring break locations.
While President Trump announced new recommendations last week to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people, many people across the country are still ignoring that warning. Spring-breakers seen in a viral video posted by CBS News downplayed catching the deadly virus while partying in Miami.
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Brady Sluder, one of the young people in the video, said, “whatever happens happens” — showing little concern about the virus.
“If I get corona, I get corona,” Sluder said. “At the end of the day, I’m not going to let it stop me from partying. I’ve been waiting, we’ve been waiting for Miami spring break for a while. About two months we’ve had this trip planned, two, three months, and we’re just out here to having a good time.”
Many Florida beaches have since been shut down. But Sluder and other students in the video earned fierce criticism online — especially because public health officials say it’s urgent for Americans to work together to “flatten the curve.” The way to do that, experts say, is social distancing and staying home.
“Is it really worth while to do all of this social distancing and hand washing? The answer is yes,” CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook said on “CBS This Morning” earlier this month. “Normally, right now — without any measures — the epidemic might go up [sharply] and go down. That peak number of cases could overload the system and that’s what people are worried about.”
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The goal of flattening the curve is to prevent a huge spike in cases that overwhelms the ability hospitals to help them all, and to spread out the number of patients out over time. White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said millennials are crucial in flattening the curve.
Many of the public safety requests have been aimed at millennials who are being tasked with staying inside in order to protect older generations of Americans. This was too much to ask for many spring breakers who booked hotel rooms and flights months in advance and openly were not taking the public’s request to practice social distancing and to not participate in gatherings where there are more than 10 people seriously.
One of that major concerns facing those combatting the pandemic is preventing the overwhelming of the healthcare system with an unmanageably high number of people with respiratory issues. The domino effect leads to a lack of supplies, attention and time needed to guide a a patient back to health. Those that wish to flatten the curve claim that more people are dying now than would die if the hospitals were not as overwhelmed. Although younger people are surviving the coronavirus, they are congesting the hospitals and according to the CDC, 20-44 year olds account for 20% of Americans that were hospitalized for the coronavirus.