The role for young people in the COVID-19 pandemic

Baihly Warfield
Updated: March 25, 2020 09:49 PM

With coronavirus health complications, experts believe older adults are more at risk. But UMD Public Health Assistant Professor Jessica Hanson said young people have a crucial role to play. 


She has started teaching her three classes about epidemiology, health interventions and leadership online. And Hanson said from the virtual contact she's had with her students, they're embracing the duty to be distant. 

"I think generally, as we start taking this more and more seriously, we're starting to see younger people really listening to these calls," Hanson said. 

Not only that, but she sees teens and young adults having a role in getting information out and encouraging others. 

"I think students and young people listen to other young people," Hanson said. "And they're also the age that is very familiar and utilizes a lot of social media, a lot of media that I am not equipped to utilize. And so I even think, how can we work with our students in that age group to get that message out there even more?" 

She pointed to UMD's Public Health Facebook page, where students and professionals are sharing information, tips and encouragement. 

"A lot of our college students have lost jobs, have had to move home," Hanson said. "Their lives have really been uprooted, so I think in general, we see our students reacting in a very good way."


Baihly Warfield

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