Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Young people are infecting older family members in shared homes

Emergency medical technicians bring a patient to North Shore Medical Center in Miami this month as a hearse departs. (Maria Alejandra Cardona/Reuters)

By Lenny Bernstein

As the death toll escalates in coronavirus hot spots, evidence is growing that young people who work outside the home, or who surged into bars and restaurants when states relaxed shutdowns, are infecting their more vulnerable elders, especially family members.

Front-line caregivers, elected officials and experts in Houston, South Florida and elsewhere say they are seeing patterns of hospitalization and death that confirm fears this would happen, which were first raised in May and June. That was when Florida, Texas, Arizona, California and other states reopened in efforts to revive their flagging economies.

The emerging trend highlights the difficulty of relying on the Trump administration’s strategy of sheltering the most vulnerable while the young and healthy return to work and school. That approach runs the risk of transmitting the virus when two or three generations share the same home and when many lower-income workers have little choice but to brave exposure to do their jobs.  Read more >>