The U.S. has averaged 3,000 deaths a day from COVID-19 in the past week, and one-fifth of hospitals with intensive care units are reporting that they’ve reached 95 percent capacity. But the meteoric rise of the virus hasn’t stopped some Americans from evading safety measures — even when in large groups.
Protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol building before they rioted on Jan. 6. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)
A video recorded after the University of Alabama clinched its 18th national football title on Monday shows thousands of fans streaming into the street, cheering and drinking. According to a local reporter, “some fans wore masks” but “many didn’t,” meaning that anyone carrying the virus in the crowd could have spread it to dozens of others, if not more. This type of scenario, known as a superspreader event, is not new in the U.S.
During the past year, there have been several notable superspreader events — from a Maine wedding and a South Dakota motorcycle rally to a Rose Garden Supreme Court nomination. Monday night’s event in Alabama, says Yahoo Life Contributor Dr. Dara Kass, is poised to be another one. “Any mass gathering like that is a terrible idea in the middle of the pandemic,” says Kass. “But then adding alcohol at an unmasked gathering, in close quarters, is the worst of all ideas.”
Kass adds that the decision by Alabama students to rush the streets of Tuscaloosa was especially dangerous given that there is a new variant of COVID-19 spreading in the U.S., which she says is “better at spreading” than the other strains. “There is nothing good that can be said about that event other than it’s over,” she says. At the time of publishing, neither the University of Alabama nor the Alabama Department of Public Health had responded to Yahoo Life’s request for comment.