Young people blow it

As an immunocompromised 29-year old, it has never felt more exhausting to explain my health situation to my peers. While I normally expect for them just not to "get it," the stakes are now very high for them to understand. The numbers of new Coronavirus cases for people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s in the past week has exploded. In Florida, where there were over 10,000 new cases in the week of July 4th, the median age for new cases dropped from 65 (in March) to 35 years old.

In normal times, immunosuppressants work well and keep me literally on my feet, but under COVID, this treatment endangers my life. Infections have the potential to spread extremely quickly in my body. Having an illness be invisible, and the worst of it caused by medication, makes my situation confounding to most. This past week was an especially bad week to be reading quotes from young people when it comes to the virus.

I wanted to feature some of the quotes about COVID-19 I was reading in major newspapers and juxtapose them in an infographic with the numbers. This idea came from my Sick Day visualization where lists and iPhone notes were featured behind a bar chart of my missed days from work. The qualitative and quantitative came together in this data piece.

I created a series of slides for Instagram, wanting to address my target age demographic on the social media platform we use most. My goal was to invite people into a serious conversation about the consequences of drinking, swimming, and eating ice cream this summer. The grid pattern in the background mimics school paper—it's really a simple lesson! Although I played with other background colors overlaying the grid, yellow was the most arresting and friendly simultaneously. The copy was sassy but not preachy and offered tangible calls to action. "We," "you," and "I" are all stressed in this copy—this was a personal message and not just data.

#COVID19 #wearamask #harmreduction #Florida #Arizona