02/07/2021

Young people's turn in the fight against the virus

2 min
Some young people celebrating the festival of San Juan

Covid infections have shot up again. In two days they have doubled among young people in Catalonia, with the worst rates of all the State. They are bad news, as the Catalan minister of Health, Josep Maria Argimon, has admitted. Only mass vaccination is preventing what can already be described as the fifth wave from placing us in a scenario like those we have already experienced in the last year and a half: total confinement and hospitals with ICUs at the limit. We are not in this situation now, but this does not mean that we do not have to worry. As in last summer, the de-escalation in the protection measures has coincided with the festival of Sant Joan and has caused a very quick ¡increase in cases. This time the virus is feeding mainly on the young, who are the least protected -that is, the least vaccinated - the least aware of danger and, therefore, the least careful. Now, then, is their time.

The desire to turn the page is shared by everyone, of course, and it is understandable that the good weather and the arrival of the holidays do not invite self-limitation, but covid does not understand holidays or moods and the delta variant, which is the one we now have upon us, is highly contagious. So there is no choice but to get used to the idea that there is no relaxation which is worth it: it is better to err on the side of caution. The face mask must continue to be part of our daily outfits, both day and night, in small and large groups. And, of course, it is in everyone's individual and collective interest to vaccinate everyone over the age of 16

Victory over the pandemic is at stake, which is within reach if we manage to neutralise this upsurge. And, indirectly, the long-awaited economic recovery is also at stake. This Friday, Germany has once again put Catalonia (and Cantabria) in the spotlight as a region where it is not advisable to travel. If it is not possible to stop the increase in contagions, the desired reactivation of tourism may be called into question. No one's summer plan include vaccination. The country can't afford it. Everyone must be clear about this, but especially young people must understand that it also depends on them, that it is not safe to go out partying in groups and indoors, for example, and that, in short, it is now largely up to them to prevent the sudden worsening of the incidence of the virus from taking hold. If this fifth wave becomes strong and lasts longer, the summer will be uncertain in social terms, complicated in health terms and bad in economic terms. In the field of health, primary care is already suffering collapses: young people usually do not have symptoms that lead them to be admitted to hospitals, but they do saturate health centres. The Department of Health has already rushed to organise walk-in vaccinations for young people in the areas with the highest incidence. It is in everyone's interest to stop this dangerous loss of control of the situation.

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