Everyone from celebrities like Hilary Duff to federal and local government officials have urged millennials to stay home. In a White House press conference on Monday, Deborah Birx, leader of President Trump's virus response group, said millennials "are the core group that will stop this virus."
"It's important that we all work together, especially younger people, millennials," Seema Verma, administrator at Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator, said. "They may feel healthy. They may feel like if I get this virus it's not going to be that big of a deal, it's just going to be like the flu, but the reality is they can contribute to the spread."
But according to millennials, they're already heeding coronavirus warnings. It's Gen Z you should be reprimanding, they say.
"Millennials are not partying," tweeted National Review reporter Mairead McArdle. "We and our anxiety issues are holed up working from home, watching Hulu, and yelling at our parents not to go outside. It's Gen Z you want."
—Mairead McArdle (@JohnsonHildy) March 19, 2020
Younger generations have recently gotten a lot of flak for taking advantage of cheap airline tickets to book travels or vacations and for crowding beaches and partying on booze cruises while on spring break.
Jawontae Rodgers, a 21-year-old who spring breaked in Panama City Beach, told Valerie Crowder of local outlet WFSU he didn't think the virus was a "big deal."
"I'm not saying I can't die from it," he said. "I just don't want to stop living my life because you only have one. YOLO: You only live once."
According to the Pew Research Center, millennials turn 24 to 39 in 2020. The oldest of Gen Z turns 23. That means millennials have graduated college — it's Gen Z who are the ones living it up on spring break.
Both generations, though, seem to be into today's cheap travel, according to Ben Kesslen for NBC, who talked to a range of 20-somethings about the trend.
Millennials are more concerned about their boomer parents
Lauren Morgan, a millennial licensed professional counselor in Cleveland, told Troy L. Smith of Cleveland.com that not all younger generations have recognized the gravity of the coronavirus pandemic. Their attitude isn't surprising, she said, when they already feel the deck has been stacked against them.
"For a lot of millennials [and Gen Z], it already feels like the end of the world," she said. "These are young people who don't know anything other than living paycheck to paycheck. They're riddled with student loan debt. They can't afford something like a house or even a car.
She added: "We're also in this political climate of young people choosing to vote for Bernie Sanders and baby boomers voting for the same sort of thing we've always had. So, millennials and Gen Z say to themselves, 'You don't care about us and whether we can afford healthcare. So, we don't care about this thing that's affecting you.'"
But as McArdle's tweet shows, there are millennials out there taking this seriously. The coronavirus is scary to the generation because it shows them how old their parents are. Many millennials have baby boomer parents in the high-risk group for coronavirus: Those over age 60 and those with preexisting conditions are at greater risk of becoming ill. Coronavirus risk also increases with age.
Business Insider's Hayley Peterson spoke to several millennials who said they are concerned about their parents' health and who voiced frustration in trying to convince them to stay inside.
As Jared, 31, told Peterson: "Literally was fighting with my mom this morning about her a) going to Atlantic City last weekend; b) going to another casino via bus this weekend; and c) a cruise in April she refuses to cancel."