During the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare and government officials assured the public that young people had virtually no risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19. But many young people who become infected with this virus tell a completely different story, which should serve as a warning to young people in the southern and western states, where the number of infections is growing.
“For young people who think they don’t need to worry, and who do not follow the guidelines, think again,” said 22-year-old Jade Townsend to Yahoo News in a Facebook post. “It has had a big impact on my life in the last few months and continues to have an impact.”
A kindergarten worker in Oxford, England, Townsend, in early March, got mild symptoms of COVID-19 – a sore throat, chest tightness and a slight cough. Her cough was steadily increasing, and she began to suffer from debilitating headaches, lethargy, and muscle pain. In the end, she lost her sense of smell and taste, and she felt so bad that she “planned my funeral song.”
“I was admitted to a hospital where I stayed overnight with fluids and antibiotics. I was also very dehydrated. I checked out and all the symptoms persisted. My doctor prescribed me a lot of antibiotics to clear my chest infection, ”said Townsend. “In the end, I got an ulcer in my mouth and throat, and then severe stomach pain.”
After a second hospital stay, Townsend, who had no previous illnesses, says she was treated for thrush and ongoing nausea. Now, after 15 weeks in her fight against the disease caused by coronavirus, she has far from returned to normal life.
“I had six different antibiotics,” Townsend said, “adding:“ I still suffer from chest pains, coughing, severe body pains and fatigue, light stomachaches, ulcers and some days from sore throats, and I can still. I will not go far, and sometimes I will not have an appetite. “
Last week, President Trump discounted the risks that COVID-19 poses to young people, saying that increased testing has led to an increase in the number of diseases among “young people who have no problems.”
But as the number of new cases in the United States has increased by 76 percent over the past 14 days, young people who consider themselves at little risk from the virus end up in hospitals.
For example, in Houston, approximately 60 percent of patients with COPD-19 are currently hospitalized before age 50.
“We definitely see how this affects young people and they are very sick,” said Dr. Mark Bloom, CEO of Houston Methodist, to CNBC.
Stephanie Taylor, a 32-year-old family business accountant who also sits at home, is still involved in the effects of COVID-19, which she believes she fell ill in early February.
“It started with heavy nosebleeds,” said Taylor, who lives in Smetwick, England, Yahoo News. “Never been before.”
Then there was a burning sensation in the nose and chest, then coughing, loss of taste and smell. Taylor did not go abroad, and for this reason her doctors were skeptical that she was exposed to coronavirus. But over time, she developed new symptoms, including muscle pain, headaches, dizziness, tinnitus, and kidney infection.
“Then the nerve pain started: burning, pins and needles,” Taylor said. “Crawling and tingling begin in my hand, and now it is everywhere, even my head and face. Now I have convinced the new doctor to send me to a neurologist. That was this morning.
Like Townsend, Taylor is concerned that her generation does not seem to be at risk of coronavirus.
“I find it alarming, the mentality that“ this will not happen to me, ”said Taylor,“ because it can happen to everyone. And I think that in the end they will become part of the problem and continue the spread of the virus. ”
Testifying before the House’s Energy and Trade Committee last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading infectious disease expert in the coronavirus task force, has denied Trump that young people “have no problem” with COVID-19.
“To think that young people have no harmful consequences is not true. We are seeing more and more complications in young people, ”said Fosi, adding that“ some have mild symptoms, and some have enough symptoms to stay home for several days. Some of them lie in bed for weeks and have symptoms even after recovery, others go to the hospital, some need oxygen, some require intensive care, some are intubated, and some die. ”
Although the researchers are still trying to determine the extent of the long-term damage done by COVID-19, one thing is clear: just because a disease cannot kill you does not mean that it will make you stronger. Studies conducted to date indicate possible long-term damage to the heart, scarring of the lungs, effects on the nervous system and a higher incidence of stroke.
In mid-May, New York Times columnist Mara Gay spoke in detail about his own ongoing struggle with COVID-19. At that time, few expressed concern about how this disease affects young people, but 33-year-old Guy developed a serious case that caused her viral pneumonia. Although she continues to recover and resumes jogging, this experience convinced her that all Americans, regardless of age, should take this disease seriously.
“It is obvious that it’s not wise to ask people to completely close their lives for an indefinite period – a year, two years, no matter how long it takes to come up with a vaccine – but it’s quite wise to wear a mask when you are with others for 6 years. their feet, ”said Gay. “It is unreasonable to limit indoor meetings. If you are going to meet a friend, go outside, put on a mask. ”
Gay said it was “embarrassing” that governors in states such as Texas “saw what happened in New York,” and in any case put forward hasty opening plans.
“You should also consider that you are throwing bones because you do not know how your body will react. “Even if you have a mild illness, you don’t know when you are contagious or not contagious,” she said, adding, “and you don’t know how someone else’s body will react to it.”
As it became clear over the past few months, people over 60 are not the only ones who need to be afraid that the coronavirus can save them. This is partly because approximately one in four young people has grown up with a chronic illness such as asthma or diabetes. These concomitant diseases can make diseases like COVID-19 potentially more dangerous, but even people who do not have previously known conditions can be severely affected by the virus.
“I’ve been doing this for 115 days,” said Ed Hornik, chief editor of Yahoo News. “It has changed my whole point of view on how I live.”
Hornik, 40, an avid tourist who lives in London, developed flu-like symptoms in early March, including fever and shortness of breath. He initially had a negative result on COVID-19, but he continued to feel worse over time, and ended up being treated in the emergency room and diagnosed with coronavirus. However, in the following weeks other problems continued to develop, including extreme fatigue, headaches, joint and muscle pains, blurred vision, and a general confusion called the “mind fog”.
“It seems you never had such extra energy to do something. For example, on Saturday I walked a mile because I needed to go to the store, and when I got there, I sweated profusely, although it was cold, ”said Hornik. “When I returned, my lungs ached, my legs hurt, I was suffocating. I did not go fast, I did not do anything stressful. All day on Sunday I lay in bed and did not wake up until 2 pm. on Monday. In fact, even completing small tasks returns you back two days.
Despite the fact that Hornik continues to improve and returned to work, it is not clear how long he will feel tired from the coronavirus. His doctors, who are struggling to better understand the virus, also cannot give a clear prognosis.
“That’s what upsets about this. Listen, I’m already tired. Fatigue and tiredness are two different things, ”said Hornik. “I forgot the names of my friends. I forgot the names of the employees. I have great difficulty.
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