‘If I get corona, I get corona’: Spring breakers flock to Florida despite coronavirus crisis

With flights booked and rooms already charged, several travelers set forth on trips to Miami and other Florida beach spots this week despite the emerging, highly contagious coronavirus.

CBS News captured footage of some courageous young people celebrating their spring breaks Wednesday despite the pleas from federal and state officials to avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people.

Explore»MORE: Trump: Avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people

The CBS News report estimated that thousands still arrived to Florida’s beaches to party and enjoy what they could of spring break. Bars and restaurants had shuttered by executive order by Wednesday, but those interviewed about taking their trips said they still saw the need for vacationing on the sandy beaches.

One spring break visitor, Brady Sluder of Ohio, said he refused to let the threat of coronavirus ruin his college break.
"If I get corona, I get corona," Sluder told CBS News. "At the end of the day, I'm not gonna let it stop me from partying."

His sentiments don’t bode well with what national studies have shown for the quickly spreading virus, which has now claimed the lives of more than 150 Americans. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report found that — as in other countries — the oldest coronavirus patients had the greatest likelihood of dying and of being hospitalized. But of the 508 patients known to have been hospitalized, 38% were notably younger — between 20 and 54. And nearly half of the 121 patients who were admitted to intensive care units were adults under 65, according to the CDC report.

Despite the epidemiologist’s assessment of the dire need to stay home unless absolutely necessary, those interviewed by CBS News were not convinced of the virus’ gravity.

“It’s really messing up with my spring break,” Wisconsin’s Brianna Leeder told the news folks. “I think they’re blowing it way out of proportions; it’s doing way too much.”

Dr. Deborah Birx, member of the Coronavirus Task Force, spoke to the responsibility on the shoulders of millennials, the nation’s largest generation, to adhere to the guidelines put out Monday.

The spring breakers might not have heard that update from Birx earlier this week. Some including Atlantis Walker of Indiana said he was upset about the coronavirus guidelines.

“We need a refund,” he told CBS News. “This virus ain’t that serious. There’s more serious stuff out there like hunger and poverty. We need to address that.”