Things That Matter

This Is What America Looked Like On Memorial Day Despite A Pandemic Killing 100,000 Americans (And Counting)

So the United States is still in the midst of a pandemic with at least 18 states still seeing an increase in daily cases of Coronavirus. In fact, just on Friday, the country as a whole saw a single-day increase of more than 24,000 new cases. In one day.

Yet it seems that many Americans aren’t paying attention to the news or they simply just don’t care – as crowds packed beaches, lakes, parks, and pools across the country.

To many party-goers, they say it’s their right to do what they want and to celebrate how they want. To millions of responsible Americans, it’s more about responsibility and caring for your community by adhering to the social distancing requirements until the pandemic is under control – which could still be months away.

Many Americans have flocked to parks, restaurants and beaches to celebrate Memorial Day weekend.

Credit: Alex Edelman/ Getty

Governments across the country had announced that Memorial Day weekend would serve as a sort of test on whether or not they’d be able to really start relaxing stay-at-home orders. It all depended on how the public reacted and if they adhered to social distancing measures.

However, one quick look at social media showing pool parties and crowded beaches from Florida to California, show that much of the country truly failed at protecting themselves and their communities.

Commissioner for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Stephen Hahn, told Americans that “with the country starting to open up this holiday weekend, I again remind everyone that the coronavirus is not yet contained.” It’s important reminder that millions of Americans seem to have forgotten.

He added “It is up to every individual to protect themselves and their community. Social distancing, hand washing and wearing masks protect us all.”

From Florida to California, millions of people totally ignored the ongoing crisis so they could party instead.

Crowds packed beaches in Florida, Maryland, Georgia, Virginia and Indiana. Many people ventured out without masks and others failed to keep their distance even as officials highlighted the continued importance of both in order to prevent another surge of infections. But it seems like many people just didn’t care.

One party-goer told WGHP, “We’re tired of being stuck in the house. I’m not afraid of this virus one bit. People have the right to choose where they go and what they do.”

And in Missiouri’s Lakes of the Ozarks, hundreds attended pool parties despite an ongoing rise in cases in the area. And those party-goers, now pose a new threat to the region.

Lyda Krewson, the mayor of St Louis, Missouri, said: “It’s irresponsible and dangerous to engage in such high risk behaviour just to have some fun over the extended holiday weekend. Now, these folks will be going home to St. Louis and counties across Missouri and the Midwest, raising concerns about the potential of more positive cases, hospitalisations, and tragically, deaths. Deeply disturbing.”

Meanwhile, in California, people packed the beaches in Orange County and few were using masks.

Credit: Ralph Williams / Getty

Health officials Had said that Memorial Day weekend would serve as a test of whether California can actually ease stay-at-home orders. So how did the state do?

Well, from San Diego to Venice, beaches were packed with varying degrees of social distancing. New POrt Beach was packed with beach-goers flouting rules about hanging out in groups of more than 10.

While in Venice, the boardwalk was heaving with crowds and not everyone was wearing a face mask. Despite the digital billboard saying “wear face covering,” only some people wore face masks as they enjoyed a stroll on the Venice Beach boardwalk on Saturday.

And a popular hiking spot outside LA had to be shut down by authorities because it became so overcrowded it was impossible to follow social distancing guidelines.

Just because you can go to the beach or bars doesn’t mean it’s time to let your guard down.

In fact, some states are seeing new spikes in coronavirus cases. Both North Carolina and Arkansas are seeing major spikes in new cases. In North Carolina, they reported the highest single-day increase just a day after they entered the second phase of reopening. And in Arkansas, the governor said his state is experiencing a “second peak.”

There have also been reports of increased cases emerging in Virginia, Maryland, D.C., Nebraska and Illinois.

Yet so many seem to think they have a right not to wear a mask. However, even one of the White House’s leading Coronavirus experts, Dr. Birx, has reminded the country that using a mask is extremely important.

“Out of respect for each other, as Americans that care for each other, we need to be wearing masks in public when we cannot social distance, she said in an interview with ABC News.

Experts warn the U.S. is nowhere near out of the woods with coronavirus.

As of Memorial Day, more than 1.7 million Americans have been infected and more than 99,000 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

“Look at the numbers. You’ll see that on Thursday, more than 20,000 Americans were infected,” said Dr. Seema Yasmin, a former disease detective at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in an interview with CNN. On Friday, “that number went up, and there were more than 24,000 Americans newly diagnosed with Covid-19.”

Yes, you’re reading those numbers correctly. There were 24,000 new cases in just one day!

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Met Gala 2021 Is Happening And Amanda Gorman Is Set To Host The America-Themed Fashion Event

Entertainment

Met Gala 2021 Is Happening And Amanda Gorman Is Set To Host The America-Themed Fashion Event

Alex Wong/Getty Images

It’s 2021 and the Met Gala is back this year – after being canceled in 2020 thanks to a pandemic – with superstar poet Amanda Gorman being eyed to host the fashion event of the year. Given the 23-year-old’s show-stopping performance at the inauguration, the theme fittingly will be a celebration of America and American designers.

The Met Gala will return in 2021 with a very special guest as host.

Vogue’s “Oscars of Fashion” famously takes place on the first Monday of May. However, this year it’s been pushed back to September 13, in hopes that life will have returned to something closer to normal by then.

Epic poet Amanda Gorman is reportedly in talks to co-host the event alongside Tom Ford, who is the academy’s president. The breakout star of President Biden’s inauguration, Gorman is on the cover of the magazine’s May issue and the subject of a relentlessly glowing profile inside.

The black-tie gala, which raises funds for Met’s Costume Institute, is normally fashion’s biggest night and sees guests from Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Cardi B to Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and even Maluma.

The event was canceled in 2020 thanks to a global pandemic.

The world’s most glamorous party was canceled in 2020 because of COVID-19, which was (and still is) raging the planet at the time. There was a virtual event in place of the 2020 event, with celebs like Julia Roberts, Priyanka Chopra and Amanda Seyfried showing off their looks from home and stars like Mindy Kaling and Adam Rippon taking part in the #MetGalaChallenge, recreating looks from past years.

This year’s event will draw inspiration from all things USA.

The theme of this year’s Met Gala has not been announced, but Page Six says the night will be devoted to honoring America and American designers, following the 18-month-long COVID crisis in this country.

Recent past themes for the event have included “Camp: Notes on Fashion” (2019), “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” (2018), and “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between (2017). And don’t forget 2016, when Zayn Malik wore robot-arms to Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.

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Another Gender Reveal Party Goes Bad As Two Die In Plane Crash

Things That Matter

Another Gender Reveal Party Goes Bad As Two Die In Plane Crash

ALONSO CUPUL/EPA-EFE/Getty Images

Although many have highlighted the ethical problems with so-called gender reveal parties, they remain very popular ways to announce the gender of a new baby. But they’ve also frequently turned tragic with several stunts leading to severe injuries and even deaths in the last couple of years.

Now, there’s news out of Cancún that a plane crash related to a gender reveal stunt has left at least two people dead.

A gender reveal party went terribly wrong along a Mexican beach.

Yet another gender reveal party turned tragic as two people died after a plane involved in the stunt in Mexico crashed into the water. The incident occurred Monday afternoon in the Nichupté Lagoon near Cancun, according to Quintana Roo Nautical Associates, a private nautical business association that said it assisted in the rescue mission.

A video of the gender reveal shows the plane flying over the beach and emitting a pink smoke, as people cheer and shout “Nina!”

The camera then pans around and captures the small aircraft as it crashes into the water. One person died during the crash, and a second person died after being rescued, the attorney general’s office in Quintana Roo state confirmed to ABC News Thursday.

The incident is the latest fatal accident, and plane crash, connected with gender reveal parties.

The fatal plane crash is the latest deadly gender reveal stunt. In February, a 28-year-old New York man was building a device for his child’s gender reveal party when it exploded, killing him and injuring his brother. Earlier that month, a baby shower became tragic when a small cannon blew up and killed a Michigan man. In 2019, debris from a gender reveal explosion struck and killed an Iowa woman. And just a year earlier a gender reveal smoke bomb in Tucson, Arizona caused a fire that led to more than $8 million in damages.

Also in 2019, an airplane crashed in Texas after the pilot dumped about 350 gallons of pink water, authorities said. Both passengers survived, one suffering only minor injuries.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shared a public service announcement on Twitter that urged people to “choose cake” instead of “improvised explosive devices.”

“Don’t turn a party into a family tragedy. Get a cake. Leave fireworks, smoke bombs, or other explosive devices to the professionals,” the Tweet said.

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