Why do young people lower their guard against the coronavirus?

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Madrid, Aug 1 (EFE) .- Health authorities are warning of outbreaks of coronavirus associated with nightlife of young people. Why are you letting your guard down? Experts suggest that they believe they are immune to the virus, since the message that COVID-19 mainly affects the elderly has been transmitted.

“The idea that the virus affects mainly older people, with previous pathologies, has been able to penetrate them and that in case of suffering the disease, it is less serious in them,” says Efe Amaya Prado, educational and family psychologist .

In their behavior in the face of the pandemic, the little importance given to the virus and that has to do with the evolutionary development of young people also weighs. “They think that it will not happen to them, that they have a lot of life ahead of them,” says Prado, a member of the Madrid College of Psychologists.

YOUNGER MEMBERS

The truth is that the average age of those infected is decreasing to stand in the last three weeks at 36 years for women and 38 for men, when in March and April it amounted to 62 and 63 years, respectively , as detailed this week the director of the Center for Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies, Fernando Simón.

Furthermore, the data show a significant increase in infections among the youngest. The last report of the Carlos III Health Institute, from July 23, accounts for 7,730 cases among people between 15 and 29 years old since May 10, which means 21.7% of the total and 56% more than a week before. , when 4,929 infections were reported in that age group.

Can this make them react? “It depends on how they are sensitized,” says the psychologist.

SPREAD TO THE ENVIRONMENT

The message that, in his opinion, should be sent to them is: “Not only do you get sick, but you can infect the people you love the most, your grandparents or your parents, who can get sick and even die” .

“The sensitization of young people has to go there: if it does not touch you, it may touch someone close,” says the psychologist, although she has doubts about whether “getting scared” can be effective in all cases.

For this reason, he believes that, in addition, emphasis should be placed on messages, through social networks, that show graphically through videos, for example, how the virus is expelled and how it is spread.

It is essential that the message is launched through social networks, Prado insists, since information campaigns through television or radio may not reach them, as they are not the channels commonly used by them.

“We have to make them understand that it is a pandemic for everyone and that we all have to do our bit.”

FRIENDS FIRST

Another aspect that, according to the psychologist, may also be influencing the little responsible behavior of some young people is that “their social relationships are much more powerful” than the virus. For them, friends are the number one priority.

After confinement, “the doors have been opened for them and they have left in droves,” he says.

Prado acknowledges the difficulty of keeping the safety distance or wearing a mask in friends’ meetings, an element that, in addition to being uncomfortable, “they think it can be a handicap in the relationship with others.”

GIVE EXAMPLE

The psychologist warns that only young people are letting down their guard, also adults, who are the ones who have to set an example.

Images like those of last Wednesday of the Congress, in which the deputies themselves did not keep the social distance, or of crowded terraces and beaches do not help much.

“Those messages also reach them, they cannot be saying ‘you have to keep your distance, wear a mask …’ if we are transmitting those images later.”

And it is that, according to this expert, “adults are not doing things at all well, we are not having the responsibility that we have to instill in them.”

Can all young people be blamed for the behavior of certain groups? Prado believes that in part yes, “because there are many who are very responsible. There are always some who transgress more, who are more rebellious and who are perhaps having those kinds of” wrong “actions.

CONTRADICTORY MESSAGES

The psychologist also warns that sometimes from the administrations they are transmitting contradictory messages such as that in September classes can be resumed in groups of 20-25 people, with difficulties in keeping safety distances, while on the other hand some communities have prohibited meetings of more than 10 people.

In addition, nightlife is attacked but allowed: discos are still open in many places and, as the psychologist says, it is difficult to keep your distance. “If the music is loud and you want to talk to someone, you have to go over there without a mask.”

The Health Minister, Salvador Illa, in an appearance this Thursday in Congress acknowledged that “it is very difficult in a closed bar, in a disco, to have a mask and have a drink and not relax; hence comes one of the main focuses of the problem, “he warned.

FOLLOW THE TRAIL

Another problem of nightlife venues is the difficulty of following up on contacts when a positive is detected, to which must be added the refusal of some young people to undergo the PCR test, even knowing that they have been in contact with an infected.

This week the refusal to take the test of some people who were in a nightclub in Valencia in which a coronavirus outbreak was detected was known.

The reason, according to the psychologist, is the weight that young people have to want to satisfy needs immediately. “Having to do the PCR implies staying 3 or 4 days at home and they do not see further, many young people have low tolerance for frustration,” she adds.

In these cases, it advocates acting forcefully and coercively.

By Teresa Díaz

(c) EFE Agency

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