To the dismay and frustration of public health officials, it seems some people still do not understand the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the earlier days of the outbreak, wherein medical experts were already urging everyone to follow the recommended safety measures, many were still outright refusing to heed warnings. In fact, many publications pointed out that this was prevalent in several countries including the United States. Now, it might already be taking its toll as several southern states are reporting a growing number of new cases in younger individuals.

This is indeed alarming as there is currently no official treatment or vaccine for the disease brought about by the 2019 novel coronavirus. Some experts claim that these results are probably from those who were already infected but were just recently tested. As more testing kits make their way across the country, this scenario appears possible. However, others have observed that these could be from non-adherence to preventive guidelines such as social distancing and the wearing of face masks.

Aside from the ongoing protests, Johns Hopkins University notes that there have been reports in Mississippi wherein fraternity rush parties are to blame. Additionally, it was also highlighted that many ignored health advisories in Tulsa, Oklahoma in order to attend the first re-election campaign rally for president Donald Trump since the health crisis started earlier this year. A common trend among these gatherings is that absence of any form of personal protection such as face coverings.

Many studies have already concluded that even cloth masks can drastically reduce the likelihood of transmission from microscopic respiratory droplets among people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) even updated its website to ensure that the public is aware of the benefits it can bring in the fight against COVID-19. Still, staying indoors unless its absolutely necessary to go out or travel is perhaps the easiest way to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

Novel Coronavirus
The novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 420,000 people globally during the first wave of the pandemic, adversely affects patients suffering from co-morbidities Photo: AFP / Adem ALTAN

Meanwhile, South Carolina's Department of Health and Environmental Control physician consultant Dr. Brannon Traxler stated: "The increases that we're seeing serve as a warning that young adults and youth are not immune to Covid-19." He likewise added: "They also tell us that younger South Carolinians are not taking social distancing seriously." As of this writing, the latest data from Johns Hopkins University shows there are 2.2 million confirmed cases in the U.S. with 119,744 deaths.