May 3, 2020
By: Melissa Degennaro
There’s an important group of allies in our fight to halt the COVID-19 epidemic: millennials. Yes, you, millennials. Whether you are on the front lines as essential personnel, or working remotely, we applaud your efforts to keep that career on track. You may be riding out this epidemic from your apartment, or the home of a friend or relative. Perhaps you have your own family to manage while trying to balance the other tasks of the day. No matter your situation, you are critical in this public health crisis.
We need you, millennials — we need you now more than ever to help your family, friends and colleagues in the fight against COVID-19. Even White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx has recognized your power. Here’s why you are so important to help stop the spread of coronavirus:
You’re a great collector of health information.
Millennials prefer to gather health information from various sources, not just their doctors. The internet has long been a source of information for you. You’re much more inclined to go straight to a search engine when you want to know more about a health topic than Baby Boomers are.
But there’s a lot of health information out there, so be careful what you choose. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website is a good place to start, and contains helpful and accurate information in terms we can all understand.
For information about how the epidemic is affecting your community, consult state and county health department websites, as well as your local health system websites. Share that information with your family. You can show them the way.
You love social media. And you’re really good at using it.
Now that you know where to get the best COVID-19 information, share the links with your friends and followers so they, too, will have the most accurate and applicable information. Are you concerned that people your age who are hospitalized for COVID-19 are being overlooked in the media? Create a social media post letting people know that all ages are susceptible, sharing links to information from reliable sources like this one — you may just save a life. Lead by example and share the power of social media. Share what you are doing at home to keep your family busy. Post links to online virtual museum tours and live-streamed concerts others might enjoy. Host a virtual happy hour with friends and colleagues via video chat. Show everyone that you don’t need to gather in person to connect with the outside world. It’s a lifesaving message.
Social media is also a perfect place to debunk fake news, like the one post claiming drinking hot liquids will kill the virus or confirming you don’t have the virus if you can hold your breath for 10 seconds. If you see friends and followers posting misinformation, feel free to point it out — diplomatically, of course — and set the record straight for everyone with a link to an accurate source.
You’re super tech savvy.
Now’s the time to put all that experience as your parents’ tech support to work. Help them see their doctors virtually utilizing telemedicine, through telehealth apps on their cell phones or computers. Teach them how to use Facetime or other video chat tools to stay in touch with you and their friends. Show them food websites to order their groceries online (reminding them to leave adequate time to get a delivery slot). And, practice patience when they have questions…as frustrating as that may be sometimes.
Be sure to do the same for yourself and your own family. Have all telemedicine tools installed on your devices and ready to go for your doctors and your children’s doctors, just in case. Hackensack Meridian Health is offering virtual visits via our Convenient Care telehealth app, where you can have a visit with a board-certified physician on your phone, your tablet or your computer.
You want to protect the people you care about.
The good news is most people in your age group who contract COVID-19 have only mild symptoms, and in some people the virus causes no symptoms at all. As a carrier, however, there’s still the possibility you could spread the virus to others. To protect your loved ones take these precautions and encourage others to follow these guidelines as well:
- Wash your hands often and/or use hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Maintain “social distancing,” staying at least 6 feet away from other people
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow, or into a tissue that you immediately throw away
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your home every day
- Stay home as much as possible, especially if you are sick
- Wear a cloth face covering when going out in public
You got this, millennials. And we thank you.
Next Steps & Resources:
- Young People Should Take COVID-19 Seriously, Too
- Your Top 8 Questions About Telemedicine Answered
- How to Keep Coronavirus Off Your Phone & Devices
- How to Order Food Delivery Safely
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.