Young Americans are partying hard and spreading COVID-19 quickly

“We did jump the gun on reopening too soon,” said Ian Grimes, 27, of Austin, home of Texas’s flagship university, scores of technology companies and a self-consciously bohemian party culture. “Especially us Austinites, we’re impatient when it comes to having fun.”

Grimes, who is in real estate, sits outside when grabbing a beer and wears a mask if he’s out and about. But his brand of conscientiousness is offset by rambunctious peers bursting out of lockdown.

“There’s complete burnout,” said Sandy Cox, mayor of Lakeway, an Austin suburb. Last week, Cox posted a live video on Facebook warning residents that high schoolers had held a “very large party” just outside her city. Since then, a number of those who attended have tested positive for Covid-19, according to Austin Public Health.

“You’re young, you’re invincible, you don’t think it’s going to happen to you, and if it happens to you, you think you’re going to be fine,” Cox said in an interview. “The messaging is care for thy neighbor, but it is hard to get through to people.”