Risky Hugs!

It is time for my weekly ‘scolding’ post on COVID 19.  This one is about younger people taking some scary risks as the pandemic rages on and the variants are running the show.

Cases are up in many states, along with hospitalizations.  But something has changed.  The cases are in younger people and so are the hospitalizations.  It is time to bust the myth that COVID 19 is mild in younger people.  It can be, but there is no guarantee of that!

I came across this tragic story in NPR about a super fit, health conscious  29-year-old transplant nurse named Audrey.  She and her twin sister had run a marathon 6 months earlier.  

Both her and her sister got sick with COVID 19 symptoms early in the pandemic, but Audrey didn’t recover. The last day she spent with her twin sister was their 29th birthday.  Audrey got super sick and was admitted to Kaiser Sunnyside in Clackamas, OR on March 18, 2020. She died on March 22, 2020 of multi-system organ failure.

This is just one example of what can happen to healthy young people who get infected with COVID 19.

In King County right now, most of the positive cases and the highest rate of infection is in people ages 20-29.  These increases don’t seem to be driven by a return to the classroom.  According to the experts, it is what happens after school and on the weekends that is problematic. One of my friends is doing COVID 19 case investigations and contact follow-up and that is exactly what she is finding!

So what is going on?

With the vaccine being rolled out, there seems to be some sense that the pandemic is over or almost over.  It has been a long haul and people, particularly younger people, feel invincible and are ready to ‘cut loose’.  There is an increase in extracurricular activities, including sports, sleepovers, playdates, picnics, etc.  And there is a pent-up demand for physical contact so hugging is on the rise! All of these create an opportunity for disease to spread among unvaccinated people.

Here is good advice from CDC on how to reduce risk from youth sports.  Sleepovers and playdates are asking for trouble!

On April 15th, everyone 16 and older will be eligible for vaccine in WA State.  Bring it on, it can’t come soon enough!  Now if only there was enough vaccine….

Stay safe and have a good weekend.



One thought on “Risky Hugs!

  1. So true and a great reminder. We are still very cautious. We had our first outdoor apps and wine time with two vaccinated couples. It was great fun but we are always aware of our precautions still. Happy weekend!


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