A viral video taken on July 4th at a popular Michigan lake shows that many young people ignored social distancing and masks to celebrate the holiday
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, most of the country’s Fourth of July celebrations looked a little different in 2020. Over the last few weeks, the country has experienced an overall surge of new COVID-19 infections, with numbers peaking to all-time highs. Health experts warned against mass gatherings and in some parts of the country, beaches were even closed, firework shows canceled, indoor dining and drinking venues shut down, and annual July 4th celebrations skipped in order to prevent the spread of the potentially deadly virus. However many people opted to celebrate the holiday like it was 2019 anyway, as can be demonstrated in a viral video taken at Michigan’s Diamond Lake.
In the clips, first shared on Diamond Lake Sandbar’s official Instagram account, thousands of maskless partiers were filmed dancing to music, throwing back beers, and getting their tans on — without wearing masks, of course.
“Looks like a recipe for disaster…” news station WSBT reporter Max Lewis captioned a video on Twitter of the big lakeside festivities, which included young partiers, packed tightly together, tossing around a huge plastic big ball.
His video has been viewed over 7 million times in less than 24 hours, with many people expressing concern over how this might result in a massive spread of the virus.
This would be awesome if all of them lived in a bubble, together. But the truth is they will go home, most probably to their parents and grandparents.
And the spread will continue.
— Gigi Graciette (@GigiGraciette) July 5, 2020
Scenes like this … it is why health officials fear a surge in coronavirus cases after the holiday. https://t.co/yT47ypI6w5
— Kristin Bien (@KristinBienWSBT) July 5, 2020
i had to sanitize my phone just after watching this https://t.co/mOkfBOlBND
— ellie sunakawa (@elliesunakawa) July 5, 2020
Days ahead of the national holiday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer — who has been criticized since the start of the pandemic for her conservative approach to locking down the state in order to save residents from becoming infected — took a step to contain the virus, but apparently partiers found a way around it.
Today, I closed indoor service at bars throughout most of lower Michigan to protect the progress our state has made against COVID-19. I also signed bills that will allow cocktails-to-go at bars & restaurants to help these businesses serve more Michiganders.
— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) July 1, 2020
“Today, I closed indoor service at bars throughout most of lower Michigan to protect the progress our state has made against COVID-19,” she tweeted a few days before the holiday. “I also signed bills that will allow cocktails-to-go at bars & restaurants to help these businesses serve more Michiganders.”
She also urged residents to “recreate responsibly,” which was clearly ignored by many.
Wanted to take a moment to wish you a happy Fourth of July weekend. As we celebrate, please remember that, while we might get to take a break, COVID-19 does not. For the sake of the extraordinary country we love and call home, be safe, be smart, and #RecreateResponsibly. pic.twitter.com/Kc5rKGP20J
— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) July 4, 2020
Michigan has recorded 65,533 cases of coronavirus as of Saturday afternoon, including 5,972 deaths, according to Michigan Live.
Despite social distancing recommendations, CNN reports that beaches across the country — including Virginia Beach, VA, Rehoboth Beach, DE, and others on the California coastline — were also packed with people over the July 4 weekend.
CNN affiliate KSWB reported that in Pacific Beach, CA, people were not social distancing or wearing masks. “It seems pretty regular for the 4th of July with definitely a lot of people,” Marine Safety Lt. Rich Stropky said.
Other packed parties also occurred in the Wisconsin Dells and at Backwater Jacks in the Lake of the Ozarks, the scene of one of the first massive parties after coronavirus reopening.
Noah’s Ark Waterpark in the Dells. All things considered, this is a pretty big crowd. I’ve seen a couple of people wearing masks. Hear from the parks GM tonight on #News3Now @WISCTV_News3 pic.twitter.com/lgRJ9aqbyr
— Adam Duxter (@News3Adam) July 4, 2020
Due to the incubatory nature of the virus, any spread that occurred over the holiday weekend will result in a spike of cases in about 14 days. Then, two weeks after that, the wrath of secondary spread will be evidenced.
At this point, the only way we can flatten the curve is by all doing our part in following the CDC’s recommended prevention methods and they are pretty simple: social distance from others, wear a mask, and practice hand hygiene.