There's news out of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, this week, but, for once, it's unrelated to football. Young people in the Alabama college town have reportedly been throwing "coronavirus parties," ragers which can be described less as "lit" and more as litanies of public health violations.
The parties work based on a macabre lottery system, whereby everyone who attends purchases a ticket. The first party-goer to have their COVID-19 infection confirmed by a doctor, then, receives the proceeds from the ticket sales, CNN reported in a recent article.
The phenomenon recalls a somewhat marginal opinion advocated for by certain black-sheep public health experts at the beginning of the present crisis. Some floated the idea of "coronavirus parties" as a way to preclude an economic recession brought on by widespread quarantining.
This is the way it was supposed to work: Have young people, who are relatively low-risk, attend these parties and get infected. They would possess the requisite antibodies as a result and be able to go out in public, acting as frontline workers without becoming conduits for the virus's spread themselves.
This view had a number of problems with it. First and foremost, it's never actually been confirmed that a person who gets the coronavirus can't contract it a second time. Second, there's the difficulty with administration. You would need to have an incubation period following the parties, during which the infected were stringently quarantined.
It should go without saying, but apparently doesn't, that these parties aren't even a bastardized or watered-down version of that original, rejected proposal to deal with this pandemic. No one attending these parties in Tuscaloosa appears to be concerned with public health at all. The parties look more like a cheap opportunity to make a few bucks, consequences be damned.
Local government officials unilaterally condemned the
gatherings. The fire marshal vowed to break up such parties when they occur.
The city also passed a mandatory mask ordinance, possibly in response to this
This may be happening in Alabama now, but could Louisiana be next to jump on the virus party bandwagon? If only common sense were as contagious as the disease itself.