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Scared, Stupid, And Easily Manipulated: What COVID Has Revealed About The Nation’s Young

The saying goes that crises reveal your true nature. If that’s the case, we are in big trouble, because what COVID has revealed about young people in America is not good.

A new Morning Consult poll out this week finds that young people are the most worried about getting COVID of any age group — even though their risk from the disease is negligible.

At the other end of the spectrum, the elderly are much less worried, even though they are at the highest risk of death.

The poll found that 23% of those between ages 18-34 are “very worried about getting sick from COVID-19 within the next year.” That’s the highest of any of the age groups broken out by the survey. Another 35% are “somewhat” worried. Just 38% say they aren’t worried.

Among those 65 and older, in contrast, only 17% are “very worried,” while 39% aren’t worried.

Why in the world are young people so terrified of COVID?

The data, after all, could not be more clear: the young are not only less likely to get COVID in the coming year than any other age group, they are at minimal risk of having any serious complications from it.

CDC data show that a far larger share of 18-39 year-olds has already gotten COVID than any other age group. This age group makes up 30% of the population, but 38% of all COVID cases. That’s compared with the 65-and-up crowd, which makes up 17% of the population but only 12% of COVID cases. So it stands to reason that the young are the least likely to get it this year for the simple reason that so many of them already have a natural immunity,

The data also make it clear that if they do get it, the young face negligible risks from COVID. Of all the deaths so far, just 2.5% involve those 18-39. Those over 65, on the other hand, account for 76% of the deaths.

Another way to look at it: of the 20.3 million people in the younger age group that have contracted COVID, just 18,545 have died. That’s a “case fatality rate” of 0.09%, compared with the overall case fatality rate of 1.4%.  Among seniors, the case fatality rate is 9%, CDC data show.

And as we know from other reports, those who are dying with COVID, old or young, tend to have a multitude of other serious health problems besides COVID.

So why are the young so fearful about what amounts to a bad cold?

The New York Times says that it’s all about politics. “Older Americans, as a group, currently lean to the right,” the Times says, “while younger generations lean to the left. And no other factor influences COVID attitudes as strongly as political ideology, the poll shows.”

That doesn’t say much for the political left or younger generations, both of which are supposedly more willing to “trust the science,” yet are being driven by irrational fears.

But we’d argue that political affiliation hardly explains the vast gulf between reality and perception among the young.

Just as young people are more susceptible to the siren song of socialism – despite its long and horrifying record of abject failure – they are more likely to believe whatever nonsense government officials spoon feed them. Seniors, in contrast, are showing their wisdom and their ability to put risks in context.

We’d also blame Anthony Fauci and the army of nattering “public health” nabobs, who have utterly failed in their job of providing accurate information to the public. Instead of making it clear that the risk from COVID is almost entirely concentrated among certain smallish segments of the population, they’ve spent the past two years terrifying everyone. Instead of encouraging the at-risk groups to take extra precautions, they forced everyone to act as though their lives depended on hiding in the basement. We’d bet that this broad-brush approach cost more lives than it saved.

Then there are the leftist politicians — aided and abetted by corporate media — who immediately saw the opportunity of a lifetime to advance their command-and-control agenda, so long as they could keep everyone in a state of panic (in the name of “science,” of course).

Wherever you place the blame, the gullibility on display by the nation’s younger generations is not filling us with confidence about the future of this country.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • While I would like to believe we oldies are more stoic because we have been there, done that, , bought the T shirt, whilst to the “yoof “, it’s all a great big unknown, and they rely on the hysterical ravings of the msn, I suspect much of the unquestioning obedience of the young, is their proclivity for following any fad, so long as it contrary to the beliefs of their elders. They remain in a suspended state of a two year old’s defiance. Hence the derision towards the America of their fathers, to history, to Christianity. They ARE tomorrow. Unfortunately the “science” they follow, is a false god, with a political agenda, but they follow it, believe its shrieks of doom, without question.Climate change is just another area in which they can display superiority over the has beens. We caused the problem–only they can fix it.
    But whether arrogance , foolhardiness, or blind obedience to “authority ” other than parental, we can only hope they mature, grow out of it with experience, hampered by a society which tries to wrap them in cotton wool, to prevent their “sensibilities ” being offended.

  • Isn’t being able to easily manipulate the young mind the purpose of our educational system?

  • “That doesn’t say much for the political left or younger generations, both of which are supposedly more willing to ‘trust the science,’ yet are being driven by irrational fears.”

    “Trust the science”.
    There’s the nub of it. Science is by definition suspicious, not trustful. It doesn’t even trust itself – it constantly rechecks, recalculates, revisits itself to verify.
    “Trust” is another word for “faith”. And the young have faith – not in science but in scientists, which is to say, in authorities.
    They have been seduced by these authorities to feel as though trusting the educated is the essence of being educated.
    It caresses their vanity to think they are the peers of scientists and experts, novices in the seminary of Science.
    But when this scientism is criticized or even questioned, they react much as a religious devotee does when the God he worships is questioned: indignant anger at the affront, and cold fear that the criticism is valid, that the God is fraudulent, that the devotee has been a fool.

  • Fear is the DNC’s weapon in driving the ignorant herd where to go. Remember us old ones were taught how to think the new ones where taught what to think. If you are all ready implanted with what to think just follow orders and the herd moves in that direction.

  • The two absolute dumbest most brain dead inept incompetent
    least self aware incapable and totally clueless persons on the
    entire planet are now president and vice president (senile Biden
    isn’t sure which is which)running this country, all due to a rigged

  • I’d be interested to see a deeper dive into the opinions of younger people–like crosstabs by ethnicity and especially by sex. No doubt female obsession with “safety” is quite evident.

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