After months of confinement and in the euphoria of the beginning of the summer they want to have fun and to hell with the coronavirus: in Florida, young adults have returned to a normal life and participate in the outbreak of COVID-19.
Reggaeton, evenings improvised on the beach or around a swimming pool and alcohol afloat: the ingredients are all there to have a good time and enjoy the moments the most pleasant in Florida, a State known for its nightlife, even if many of the bars and nightclubs remain closed.
From march to may, the number of infections in the “Sunshine state” has been contained, thanks to the containment. But in June it exploded, due to the reopening of the State’s economic, very dependent on tourism, and the influx of young tourists american.
At Ocean Drive, the famous street of Miami, the young people who came from Missouri, Texas, Georgia and elsewhere stroll on the beach.
Around midnight, Mike Olivera, 25, is sitting in front of the sea and drinking vodka with a friend.
When he explains why he came to Miami, we understand that the port of the mask and the respect of distanciations social security are not a priority: “I wanted to fuck her. ”
Mike laughs and explains. It comes from New York city, the former epicenter of the coronavirus in the country, where very strict measures and very long have been taken to combat this virus that has claimed more than 22, 000 deaths in the largest city in the us.
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“I just wanted to take a break and be able to do things, meet new people “, details there.
Meetings may yet prove to be dangerous, the Florida having established a new record of infections almost every day for the last two weeks with a peak at more than 9,000 new cases Friday, for a total of more than 100 000 cases reported.
Especially, one of the most revealing is the average age of infected people: 33 years, against 65 two months ago.
Governor Ron DeSantis, who had been very slow to put measures in place for containment in the month of march, explained this week that his State was facing a “real explosion” of the disease among young people. The positivity rate for people aged 15-44 years “is close to 20%,” said republican representative Friday in announcing the ban on alcohol consumption in bars, even if the takeaway is still possible and that restaurants can still serve alcohol.
Some of the bars had been singled out for non-compliance with social distancing in the last few days and had been warned by the elected republican.
Between caution and carelessness
And that, says Mike Olivera of the virus? “I don’t think it’s going to affect me. I am 25 years old, I don’t think I need to worry “, the judge there.
“I have already lived for more complicated tricks. I come from the Bronx, you know what I mean. If I survived that, I can survive anything, ” says this young braggart in resservant a vodka.
But all the young people are not like that, says Annalisa Torres, who just graduated from the university of Florida, and grieves to see so much recklessness.
“It is important that we understand that as young adults, our actions during the pandemic does not only have an impact on us, but on the people around us,” she says from his home in Miami, where she is placed in quarantine.
“In my case, I live with my parents and my little brother. I stay at the house for them, not for me. ”
The problem, explains Mary Jo Trepka, an epidemiologist from the Florida International University, is that when young people are told that they are less vulnerable to the virus, they hear that they are immunized.
“What has been repeated, is that the elderly are more at risk, and that young people have less chances of falling ill,’ she recalled to the AFP.
“It is quite true, but once you have as many young patients, some of them will be very severe and end up in the hospital “, said she.
At the beginning of the month of June, “the people wanted naturally as things get back to normal,” summed up the governor DeSantis. “But now we must be vigilant, especially the young carriers” of the virus.