As 2020 continues to recoil from The Bat Kiss, many of us are looking for ways to stay sane; ways to distract ourselves from the increasingly depressing global situation.
Necessity is the mother of invention, and lockdown’s birthed some seriously inventive (and off-the-wall) ideas as people around the world try to keep themselves entertained and maintain business as usual.
The Gran Teatre del Liceun in Barcelona recently reopened with a ‘plant audience’ – performers playing for an audience of over two thousand potted plants whilst humans tuned in via livestream in a spectacular piece of pandemic performance art.
In the absence of local sports content, Australian soccer fans have turned to the Belarussian Premier League and became only semi-ironic FC Slutsk supporters.
These are examples of wholesome, pandemic-appropriate activities for people to partake in. However, some young Americans clearly don’t give a f*ck, as a shocking new party trend has emerged in the United States.
Students in Tuscaloosa, Alabama have allegedly been throwing ‘COVID parties’ where the point of the party is to intentionally get infected.
Some young people in Alabama are throwing Covid-19 parties, a disturbing competition where people who have coronavirus attend and the first person to get infected receives a payout, local officials say. https://t.co/dfCQA4FxCE
— CNN (@CNN) July 2, 2020
“At first, I couldn’t believe it… they’re putting money in a pot, and they’re purposely trying to get COVID from the person who has COVID. And apparently whoever gets COVID first gets the pot,” Tuscaloosa City Councillor Sonya McKinstry told CNN.
This is hardly the first irresponsible pandemic trend that’s been observed in America. As summer rolls in around the Northern Hemisphere, Americans have flocked to beaches and tourist hotspots in defiance of social distancing rules, like this wild Missouri lake party on Memorial Day.
Alabama is one of the worst-hit states in America, with over 38,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Whilst some US states are starting to successfully ‘flatten the curve’, Alabama is one of a few states that has observed nearly four-figure daily jumps in cases in the last month.
The US remains the epicentre of the pandemic, with over 2.7 million confirmed cases – and rising. With the Fourth of July public holiday looming on the horizon, many are worried that Independence Day festivities will see a further spike in cases.
It certainly brings Melbourne’s recent spike in cases into perspective.