Somehow, living-room spread does not quite match what could be 2020’s phrase of the year, “superspreader event.” However, in defeating the Covid-19 pandemic, we are now told that our smaller social gatherings are the source of more infections. As the world waits for enough vaccine, getting that point across will help save lives. Meanwhile, despite endless warnings, Thanksgiving and December holiday travel have made the country’s airports busier than since the beginning of the pandemic.
In remarks this week, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo reiterated his plea for people to limit indoor interactions to immediate family. But many New Yorkers are hardly alone in ignoring this advice.
Probable superspreader events are still taking place — many in an apparent show of political defiance. In Florida over the weekend, Turning Point USA, a conservative student group, held two indoor events with thousands of guests, one at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. These would have been in violation of Palm Beach County’s emergency Covid-19 rules, but the Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, overruled localities wishing to enforce their own restrictions. As if guests at a packed convention center needed a little extra encouragement to cram together, a pair of “Bang Girls,” promoting an event sponsor, Bang Energy, shot wads of cash from an air cannon into the crowd. (Trust us, it is worth finding the video online.)
Closer to home, the Queens Daily Eagle reported that a conservative candidate for the borough council led a maskless conga line inside a Little Neck restaurant on Dec. 9, while about 50 guests of the Whitestone Republican Club boogied down around the perimeter of the room or sat watching from tables. More than a few people displayed conditions that could be taken to indicate clear co-morbidities. The Daily Eagle pointed out that the seven-day average Covid-19 positive-test rate for the area reached 6.53 last week. (The video of this event is also priceless.)
Statistics provided by the State Department of Health show that Covid-19 deaths have risen in Suffolk from the summer and early fall, when there might have been only a single fatality for days running. During the month of December, 129 county residents died of the disease. There was no day this month on which there were no deaths, and the seven-day average has leapt into the double digits.
It is human nature for some to think, “It won’t happen to me.” And, indeed, in a county of 1.4 million people, the odds are low that any individual will die. However, no one wants their friends or family to end up among the dead, to become a number on this grim list. The virus is still here — please do your part to limit its further spread.