Coronavirus goes to college in NC, and thrives


Some 3,000 students have been infected, and that's a low estimate:

At least 3,000 college students in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus since campuses reopened last month for in-person classes, with an overwhelming number of cases coming from just three campuses, an Associated Press analysis shows.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has seen 895 students test positive for the virus since classes began Aug. 10, while North Carolina State University has reported 788 cases among students over the same time period. East Carolina University, which started classes Aug. 10, has had 756 students test positive since Aug. 9.

Even with this damning evidence of the risk, Republicans are still (continually) harping about opening the schools, and attacking Roy Cooper for his careful approach. Pay close attention to this spike in positives from testing:

In the week before classes, 2.8% of coronavirus tests came back positive at UNC. But in the three weeks since classes reopened, 26.2% of tests came back positive, which is much higher than the state average that held steady between 6% and 8% throughout August.

The spike in cases prompted UNC, N.C. State and ECU to halt undergraduate in-person classes and move students out of their dorms as classes go fully online. While a handful of private universities began the academic year with online-only instruction, the vast majority of campuses remain undeterred in their efforts to have classes at least partially in person.

Yes, the Greek system has a lot to answer for with these spikes, but housing students in general is a bigger issue. Packed dorms, students needing 2-3 roommates to afford off-campus housing, etc., are naturally going to turbo-charge viral outbreaks. But considering the UNC School of Medicine is in the top ten med schools in the world (#1 in the U.S. for Primary care), these spikes should have come as no surprise to its leaders.



What makes this a problem?

What makes this a problem? For one, these are just the number of positive tests results which do not mean much on their own. Secondly, young people do not die from this virus. Of the ~169,000 deaths, only ~357 of them have been between the ages 0-24 according to the CDC as of 8/29/2020.

If anything, one could make the case that them getting it and getting over it could be a beneficial thing for society. With them becoming naturally immune to the virus, they would help create a herd immunity that would protect those more vulnerable to this virus. Hopefully reducing the number of deaths for those over 65+ and people with suppressed immune systems.

This is a big problem:

Over half of young adults are now living with their parents:

More young adults are living with their parents than ever recorded, data show.

In July, 52% of young adults lived with their parents, surpassing a previous high set during the Great Depression, a Pew Research Center analysis of census data shows. It’s also a jump of 5% from February before the coronavirus pandemic pushed many Americans to live with family, Pew says.

About 26.6 million adults age 18 to 29 live with their parents, according to the analysis.

If they get COVID 19, so do their parents. And their parents' coworkers, family friends, grandparents, etc.