Coronavirus Pandemic: 21-Year-Old Tests Positive After Online Post Bragging About Not Social Distancing

A Tennessee woman who once mocked self-quarantining and social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic has tested positive for COVID-19. Days before she was diagnosed, she shared a video on social media, bragging she did not think she would ever get the illness. Now, she is complaining about struggling to breathe because it "feels like someone is sitting on my chest."

"So, I'm aware that we’re supposed to be self-quarantining and social distancing all these things to keep everyone safe. Cool. I get it," Ireland Tate, 21, said in a video she published before she was diagnosed, reports WZTV in Nashville. "I just don’t think that I’m going to get the virus." She later got the virus though, and is now self-quarantining at her parents' home.

"It feels like someone is sitting on my chest at all times," Tate said of her symptoms. "It's really hard to breathe. I’ve coughed until my throat has bled."

Doctors throughout the country fear younger people are not taking the coronavirus seriously. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said adults 65 and older, as well as those with underlying medical conditions, are the most at-risk of contracting the illness, people of all ages can get it and spread it.

"There are still those who only believe that the virus affects those who are elderly and with underlying conditions," Dr. James Hildreth, president of Meharry Medical College and a member of the Nashville Coronavirus Task Force, told WZTV. "That's clearly not the case."

Tate agreed that people her age are not taking this seriously. She said she and about 20 friends gathered at one of their homes even after Nashville officials began urging people to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people. Unfortunately, one of Tate's friends had the coronavirus and passed it on to her. Tate now understands why people her age need to change how they think about the pandemic.

"While it may not be affecting you, you could be affecting someone’s grandma or grandpa or aunt or uncle or sister," Tate said.

The number of coronavirus cases jumped an astonishing 26 percent from Thursday to Friday, with more 1,203 cases confirmed in Tennessee, the state's Department of Health reported. Of those cases, 314 patients are between 21 and 30 years old. Six people have died due to COVD-19 and 103 people have been hospitalized.

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Nationally, there have been more than 104,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and over 1,600 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Photo credit: WZTV