The third wave of covid-19, recognized by the Health authorities, has had a greater impact on people between 18 and 39 years of age. This population group not only faces a greater number of infections today, but, in many cases, has to do so with limited resources, due to the lack of income and health services.
According to data from the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (Coneval), 22.9% of the young population does not have access to health services. This turns a coronavirus contagion into an economic challenge, because it is one of the sectors most affected by the closure of companies or adjustments within them to face the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.
Given this, access to social security must be guaranteed as a health strategy, considers Verónica Montes de Oca, a researcher at UNAM.
Third wave hits young people in medical security
The sector between 18 and 39 years old, in addition to falling ill with covid-19, lives with a lack of access to health services, coupled with the loss of income due to the health crisis; Given the rise in infections, the population also has a difficult economic outlook.
In addition to being the most affected by the third wave of covid-19 that rebounds in Mexico, young people between 18 and 39 years old must face the disease, in many cases, without employment or social security.
The 2020 Evaluation Report of the Social Development Policy of Coneval, presented in February, highlights that in 2018, 67.2% of young people did not have access to social security, that is, to an afore or subsistence in the face of eventualities, presenting a gap of approximately 10 percentage points with respect to the adult population.
The report indicates that 22.9% of them presented a lack of access to health services such as the IMSS, ISSSTE or Insabi, which, together with the loss of income due to confinement, could aggravate the situation of poverty of the young, being of the sectors most affected by the closure of companies or adjustments within them to face the economic crisis.
This means that, if this sector cannot access health services or even insurance for major medical expenses due to lack of employment, or despite having a permanent job they do not have social security, it will be difficult for them to face economically getting sick from covid-19 .
According to the Encovid-19 update, reported on June 15, spending to pay for medicines, medical care, oxygen or other supplies to care for coronavirus patients represented a significant outlay since 45% spent between 1,000 and 10 thousand pesos; 36% spent more than 10,000 pesos; 14% spent less than a thousand pesos; and only 5% of households did not have any expenses.
A fact that illustrates the third wave of covid-19 in Mexico is that, in the first 10 days of July, 55% more infections were registered at the national level, compared to the 10 immediately previous days.
Data from the Ministry of Health, from July 1 to 10, there were 67 thousand 452 cases, an average of 6 thousand 745 a day, including the three consecutive days in which more than 9 thousand infections were registered; a peak not seen since last February.
From June 20 to 30, 43 thousand 564 infections were registered, for an average of 4 thousand 365 daily.
Therefore, social security is as important as the health and decent employment strategy “because at any moment we could be in a situation like the health crisis again and the population should have immediate attention,” says researcher Verónica Montes de Oca Zavala , of the UNAM, within the framework of the World Population Day that is celebrated on July 11.
In this context, it reiterates the importance of reformulating how to take care of health from the early stages, after the pandemic that has lasted for more than a year.
“Today we are more aware of leading a healthy life, of strengthening the immune system and other conditions that do not occur automatically, but through integrated public, social, educational and cultural policies that allow us to ensure the well-being of the people. ”, Considers the specialist.
It should be noted that at the beginning of the pandemic and during the second wave, young people were not the main population severely affected by covid-19.
However, the advance of the green and yellow epidemiological traffic light in the country, the gradual advance in the vaccination process, the economic reopening and the reduction of restrictions on mobility, have shown that this sector is at a vulnerable moment.
On July 7, the Undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion, Hugo López-Gatell in a virtual meeting with heads of state governments, organized by the Ministry of the Interior, assured that, between January 1 and June 16, the Serious cases of hospitalization decreased from 25% to 14% in older people between 60 and 69 years of age. In contrast, the proportion rose from 7% to 17%, from 30 to 39 years old.
The undersecretary accepted that the country is in a third wave due to this disease.
He admitted that in this rebound the age displacement of people affected by the virus was modified, which does not mean that it became more aggressive in young people, but that virulence was reduced in older adults, because they have the complete scheme vaccination.
He stressed that although immunization has effects, immediate daily actions are essential to reduce serious cases and especially deaths.
Covid-19 reached your life and your pockets
Lía Aguirre and Paola González, both 29, suffered from covid in the most critical months due to infections. The pandemic hit his health, but also his family’s pocket, despite having a job, it did not provide them with social security.
Paola fell ill in the first days of October 2020, amid the uncertainty of the disease and the expense she would face, she endured the covid isolated in a room of her house.
Although he has been working for 9 years, he has not been fortunate enough to contribute to social security and faced with this situation, he only received the support of his family to pay for his expenses.
He only required treatment and rest, the covid did not present complications, but even so, he disbursed more than 10,000 pesos, including tests to detect the virus, medications, chest scans and an oxygen concentrator.
After two months at home, he returned to work and to continue the care so as not to be infected again, because despite having the antibodies that the disease leaves behind, the possibility remains latent.
For Lía, the situation was different, she suffered from covid-19 at the end of December, when the second wave began and hospital occupancy was high.
Not only that, months ago he lost his social security after the economic crisis of confinement. Although it seemed that age and not suffering from comorbidities would be an advantage so as not to aggravate the disease, the virus affected her body more that required emergency care in a private hospital. In that relapse, he remained less than 24 hours and disbursed more than 17 thousand pesos for blood tests, covid tests, laboratory tests and medicine, not counting the doctor’s fees.