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The majority of Millennials and senior citizens react differently to recommendations to practice social distancing

4 years 2 months 4 weeks ago Friday, March 20 2020 Mar 20, 2020 March 20, 2020 8:17 AM March 20, 2020 in News
Source: BBC

While the majority of Americans who classify themselves as Millennials and members of Gen Z seem eager to follow the government's precautions regarding social distancing, some have noted that many senior citizens are hesitant to limit their daily social interactions.

According to a Harris Poll, which was mentioned in a March 19 BBC article, most of those surveyed who are over 60 years of age say they're not worried about dying from novel coronavirus. 

A woman named Karen Prior, whose parents are both in their 80's told the BBC she's concerned with her mother's blasé attitude towards COVID-19.

This moved her to sit down with her mother and have a rather serious chat about the dangers of this particular form of coronavirus.

Prior's parents assured her they understood the risks and would be cautious. But shortly after this conversation, Prior's husband told her he'd seen her parents heading into town.

"So I was looking out the window to see if they'd gotten home," Prior says. "The dogs were barking." They were all anxious.

When her parents returned, she explained the risks again, and they promised they'd "stay put."

This conversation between Prior and her elderly parents is only one of many similar interactions the world over. 

So, why do so many among America's elderly population seem less concerned about the spread of the virus?

When asked about their reaction to the pandemic, some senior citizens explain that throughout their lives they've faced multitudes of extreme circumstances, and this new virus is simply one of many. 

Others go on to say they're not happy with the way the 'panicked' younger generation is treating their elderly parents as the world takes on the fight against COVID-19.

Dennis Horn, a 69-year-old lawyer in Chevy Chase, Maryland, says that recently he had breakfast with friends in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, and then his son found out.

"My son just exploded," he says. "He let me have it."

Horn went on to say he sometimes feels nostalgic for the way things used to be. "Remember the days when kids took direction from their parents?" he says, wistfully.

In any case, experts agree that practicing social distancing during the pandemic can be life-saving during. 

A COVID-19 response team in London estimated that if Americans treated the virus as if it were nothing and went about their usual daily activities then 80% of Americans would get the disease, 0.9% of them would die. 

Statistics like this are why local and federal authorities are encouraging citizens to stay home as much as possible and keep their distance from others. 

Click here for more information from the CDC on how to ward off COVID-19. 

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