Here's a bit of fun news from late last week related to the coronavirus. It seems oxymoronic, using those most dissimilar of words, "fun" and "coronavirus," in the same sentence. When a story's as ubiquitous and all-encompassing as the pandemic one is, though, it can't always be negative.
It does seem strange talking about a paradox in the context of Las Vegas, a city so on-the-nose and obvious that its nickname is literally "Sin City." People have accused Las Vegas of pretty much everything under the Mojave sun, but being "too subtle" has never been high on the list of charges. It's a city that whacks you over the head with its lures like a TV commercial. If you haven't been there, imagine an entire city that looks two-dimensional after the sun goes down.
For a whole community that strives to make flesh the show-business refrain "The show must go on," the pandemic has been a strange time. For the first time since JFK's assassination, the entire Strip shut down—that is, until last week. One of the "Cities That Never Sleeps" has insomnia again, as the neon lights are back and shining.
The Daily Mail reported that Las Vegas kicked back into gear last Thursday in true summer-in-the-desert fashion: with an epic pool party. Only it wasn't so epic.
While several casinos opened their doors last week, only the Flamingo was so bold as to throw a pool party. It reportedly wasn't the wild rager one might expect.
What took place could be more accurately described as social distancing than drunken revelry. People wore masks. The pools stayed relatively empty, even as casino attendants were on hand doing vigorous cleaning.
According to a Columbia University virologist, while the coronavirus is not contagious via water, people at a pool party can still contaminate one another via the air.
The Vegas pool party serves as an unexpectedly somber reminder of the coronavirus effect. It really puts the "kill," if you will, in killjoy. Even in Las Vegas last week, it was Las Vegas, but with coronavirus characteristics—as with the scene at the Flamingo. There were pink bikini-clad waitresses moving around serving tropical cocktails and wearing masks, showgirls clad with PPE.
And yet, New Orleans's bars still remain closed.