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!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com