We are all doing our best to practice social distancing to keep the virus from spreading. But somewhere in the world, COVID-19 parties are apparently a thing.
While the US is still atop the COVID-19 tallies with over 2.74 million recorded cases as of writing, college students in Alabama are organizing and attending parties to intentionally spread or catch the virus―and for what? Prize money.
According to a report by ABC News, Tuscaloosa City fire chief Randy Smith confirmed in a briefing that people are indeed holding COVID-19 parties. City councilor Sonya McKinstry backed this up, adding that the party hosts would purposely invite people with COVID-19, and whoever is confirmed by a doctor to be infected snags the cash.
“They put money in a pot and they try to get COVID. Whoever gets COVID first gets the pot. It makes no sense,” McKinstry told ABC News.
The University of Alabama also acknowledged the rumored parties in a statement, admitting that they couldn’t identify any students who attended.
“We have been aware for weeks of the rumors about COVID parties. We conducted a thorough investigation, and although we have been unable to identify any students who may have participated in these types of activities, we will continue to follow up on any information we receive and educate our students about essential precautions,” the statement reads.
We hear you, cabin fever is a real thing―missing the great outdoors is perfectly okay, especially now that we’re cooped up inside our homes.
As cases continue to rise, it’s best to stay at home as much as possible and adhere to health protocols. While physical gatherings are discouraged right now, we can still meet up with people through virtual spaces like Club Matryoshka, Netflix Party and interesting Facebook groups that simulate activities we usually observe with physical contact.
Photo by Karina Iago/Unsplash