A Grand Prairie woman in her 20s with no underlying health conditions is among 16 deaths reported in Dallas County on Wednesday.
Local and federal health officials continue to stress that younger generations are the key to stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Millennials are most likely to partake in social gatherings and most likely to be the least symptomatic, U.S. State Department health official Dr. Deborah Birx said in March.
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Dallas County reported the number of COVID-19 cases was increasing among people between 18 and 40 years old.
Of all the cases reported after June 1, over half are in the age group, according to Dallas County Health and Human Services.
“I think it reflects that some in the group are not taking it as seriously,” DCHHS Director Dr. Philip Huang said. “Some people think that it doesn’t affect them. It affects everyone.”
A North Texas 27-year-old recovering from the virus sounded the alarm for her generation.
“It happened so quick. I didn’t think I would get this,” Tori Taft said. “Probably the most awful I’ve felt in my life with a 102 fever and the worst headache of my life.”
In a video on social media, Taft told her friends and family: “For all you wondering, coronavirus is not a joke.”
For Taft, COVID-19 hit with severe headaches and fevers coupled with a dose of reality and guilt.
“I honestly have no idea how I got this terrible, terrible virus. I went to a couple different places, was definitely in public,” she said. “I definitely came in contact with a lot of people so I’m feeling a lot of guilt that I may have exposed other people, including my family.”
Her family, she said, took COVID-19 seriously in the spring.
They stayed home. But when Texas began to reopen in May, Taft emerged too.
“I think we all laxed and kind of forgot that this still exists, unfortunately,” she said.
Taft went to salons, restaurants and bars wanting to show support for those who had been out of work due to the pandemic.
Her family hosted a joint birthday party one day before she began to feel sick.
“My grandmother is 71 years old,” Taft said. “I was around her. She has a blood clot in her lung. I would absolutely feel terrible if something happened to my grandmother. I would have to live with that the rest of my life.”
Fortunately, none of her family members have tested positive for COVID-19.
This millennial took to Facebook acknowledging she was "careless."
“Being 27, you kind of think, 'I’m invincible. This isn’t going to happen to me,'" she said. "I’m guilty of that. Totally guilty of that.”
Taft has just started to feel "great" again.
She said the fevers and headaches have subsided, although she sometimes feels light-headed when she stands and winded when she walks.
She said she believes being a runner may have helped spare her from issues with her lungs.
Taft is quarantined until Monday and has only been able to see her 3-year-old daughter through a window.
“I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy,” she said. “Just take it seriously. Wear the mask. Wash your hands. Social distance. Don’t go around a whole bunch of people right now."