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On MSNBC's "Morning Joe" today, there were two pictures that spoke volumes about the current situation - and the degree to which different cultures are taking the pandemic seriously.

On the left, the streets of Paris, which are virtually empty as the French deal with the devastating impact of the coronavirus.  On the right, the beaches of Florida … where the exact opposite seems to be true.


In part, this seems to be because young people are laboring under the illusion that they will not be sickened by the coronavirus.

The most important word in that sentence may be "illusion."

From the Boston Globe:

"American adults of all ages — not just those in their 70s, 80s and 90s — are being seriously sickened by the coronavirus, according to a report on nearly 2,500 of the first recorded cases in the United States.

"The report, issued Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that — as in other countries — the oldest patients had the greatest likelihood of dying and of being hospitalized. But of the 508 patients known to have been hospitalized, 38% were notably younger — between 20 and 54. And nearly half of the 121 patients who were admitted to intensive care units were adults under 65, the CDC reported."

The story goes on:  "The findings served to underscore an appeal issued Wednesday at a White House briefing by Dr. Deborah Birx, a physician and State Department official who is a leader of the administration’s coronavirus task force. Citing similar reports of young adults in Italy and in France being hospitalized and needing intensive care, Birx implored the millennial generation to stop socializing in groups and to take care to protect themselves and others."

KC's View:

I usually defend young people from accusations that they can be self-absorbed.

But in this case, the problem isn't self-absorption.  It is flat out stupidity.

What I don't understand is why the state hasn't closed the beaches.

(It isn't just young people.  I have a neighbor who thought that it would be fun yesterday to blow up a big inflatable bounce house, put it on the front lawn and have all the kids on the street pile into it all together, climbing all over each other.  The schools are closed here, but some people seem to be working under the delusion that it is a vacation.)