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COVID Partiers Play Dangerous Game

Are COVID partiers aware their actions have serious consequences?

Nurses Disasters Article News   posted

Specializes in Clinical Leadership, Staff Development, Education.

It doesn’t seem plausible that students would throw “COVID parties” to intentionally become infected with the virus.  This is actually happening in some U.S. cities as teens and young adults recklessly gather during the pandemic, seemingly unaware of the bigger picture.  Read on to learn more about these dangerous parties.

COVID Partiers Play Dangerous Game
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On July 8th, an Alabama local news station reported COVID-19 hospitalizations increased by 40% within 24 hours.  Officials provided multiple reasons for the dramatic increase, such as relaxed social distancing, not wearing masks and recent protests.  However, an unthinkable new theory emerged as contributing to the state’s growing infection rates…. COVID parties.

Is it Positive?

Tuscaloosa is a well-known college town and home of the University of Alabama. In 2019, over 38,000 students were enrolled at the University.  Recently county officials began receiving reports of students intentionally becoming infected with COVID-19.  The reports came from doctor offices and emergency department staff throughout the county that treated COVID positive students and teens.  What was being reported?  Unbelievably, some students tested for COVID 19 were thrilled when they received a positive test result.

Just Rumor?

In a briefing , Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith said, “The one thing we have seen over the last few weeks is parties going on throughout the county...at several locations, where students or kids would come in with known positives.”  Officials first thought the parties were only rumors.  However, doctor offices and state information confirmed COVID parties were being thrown. 

Inside the Party

So, what really goes on at COVID parties? Tuscaloosa City Councilor Sandra McKinstry told news outlets that people known to be infected with COVID were intentionally invited to the gatherings.  There are reports of some hosts actually having a confirmed COVID-19 test.  Partiers pool their money in one pot then compete to become the first person to test positive for the virus.  The winner not only gets infected, but also takes home the pool of money. 

Disturbing Trend

Dangerous COVID parties are being reported outside of Alabama.

San Antonio, Texas

Unfortunately, Alabama is not the only state seeing this disturbing trend.  On July 12th, a 30-year old patient died of COVID in a Texas hospital after attending a "COVID Party". The patient told their nurse that he mistakenly thought the pandemic was a hoax. Dr. Jane Appleby, chief medical officer for Methodist Healthcare in San Antonio, reported attendees go to see “if the virus is real and if anyone gets infected.”  The hospital is currently treating COVID patients in their 20s and 30s, with some potentially needing intensive care.

The reported death came as federal medical teams from the U.S Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Health and Services were deployed across Texas to help overwhelmed local hospitals deal with a growing number of COVID patients.

Kentucky

At a press conference in late March, Kentucky Governor Andy Breshears reported a person tested positive for COVID after attending a “coronavirus party” thrown for people in their 20s.  Gov. Breshears did not elaborate on how many people attended the party, which he called a “callous” act that could put lives in jeopardy.

University Response

According to an issued statement, University of Alabama has been unable to identify any students who have participated in COVID parties. However, the university will continue to follow-up on any information received and continue educating students and staff.  If on-campus activities resume, the college expects students to “safeguard their personal health and safety and that of everyone at the University and in our city.”

Are They Aware?

As nurses, the consequences of COVID parties immediate play out in our head. It’s not just the students at risk for COVID and related complications, it is their family, co-workers, peers and any other paths they cross.  Many of us are living out the trickle down effect of pandemic on our own jobs, personal health and finances.

What do you think? 

Are COVID partiers aware their actions can have serious, even fatal, consequences.  Or, are they simply filling a need to socialize?

J.Adderton RN BSN MSN is a nurse with over 25 years experience. After working in various roles (bedside to leadership to education), she has returned to the roots of bedside nursing.

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A Hit With The Ladies, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psych.

It's time to go back to normal life. I think eventually even the hospitals are going to start offering less and less services to go Coronavirus patients and shuttle them out to stadiums to get care there. Even non-profit and public health care systems cannot indefinitely operate in the black - they need the elective surgeries and L&D births to generate revenues. Nurses, doctors, respiratory techs, etc. are not going to work for free, either.

Here in the greater Houston area bars are slowly starting to reopen, hell or high water:

Pasadena bar openly defies Abbott's order with 'Texas Bars Fight Back Rally'

People are eventually going to run out of sympathy and stop caring. Sure, they're going to say "Oh, I'm sorry that you got Coronavirus" but the fear-factor will just degenerate into shrugs and passive acceptance. America is rapidly getting burnt out.

What do I think? I think these behaviors are symptomatic of poorly educated and informed citizens.  They reflect the failure of the federal government to communicate a serious and consistent message relative to this pandemic. They reflect a presidency more concerned with appearances and marketing than with science. 

Common sense falls into play here. Viruses will find you if you want them to or not, intentionally out of game playing or being spiteful to see if you will get sick is just plain ridiculous...but how many of us have just tested ourselves with smoking a cigarette, drinking,, experimenting with drugs as kids, amongst other crazy things.. Just the way of the world unfortunately....working as a RN MY intention and career was performed to take care of those who had gotten ill through  mutated genetics, old age, poor nutrition,  disability complications etc. but there are many who just take chances and smoke, drink, abuse food and drugs... . It's a matter of mind over matter in some situations but sometimes life gets in the way of those who don't WANT to get sick and do things in life to prevent it through proper health precautions but yet  get ill anyway....  As Medical professionals  we don't want to get ill  or infected.....but it does happen. It's an occupational hazard so to speak. that's why we strive to keep healthy, keep stress levels down, eat properly and exercise and take proper precautions. We are blessed to have  the knowledge we have learned..  Being young is a gift.....although some may get sick , many will develop immunity to the Now covid virus out there and be fine  Some may not..  its what God gave us Our Immune systems for.  Kids are risk takers...in fact we all are in some form or another     WE learn from our mistakes and successes in life.

Edited by lumbarpain56

I’ve been on temp assignment in the ICU

We've had 2 deaths as a result of this kind of activity, both in family members of the attendees. One was the partyer’s grandpa, who he lived with, the other was the partyer’s dad. 

In a neighboring town, a colleague of one of my dearest friends has a son who attended a “regular” party where all the older teens and young adults decided to take off their masks to make it more fun. He didn’t tell anyone at home about it until one of the attendees tested positive. By then, the whole family had been exposed and tested positive. Mom got pretty sick, but not hospitalized. Dad has been on a ventilator in ICU for almost 3 weeks now. 

These kids are doing real damage. 

21 hours ago, Nurse GreenBean said:

I’ve been on temp assignment in the ICU

We've had 2 deaths as a result of this kind of activity, both in family members of the attendees. One was the partyer’s grandpa, who he lived with, the other was the partyer’s dad. 
 

In a neighboring town, a colleague of one of my dearest friends has a son who attended a “regular” party where all the older teens and young adults decided to take off their masks to make it more fun. He didn’t tell anyone at home about it until one of the attendees tested positive. By then, the whole family had been exposed and tested positive. Mom got pretty sick, but not hospitalized. Dad has been on a ventilator in ICU for almost 3 weeks now. 

These kids are doing real damage. 

Good God. Words fail me. 

londonflo

Specializes in oncology.

On 7/15/2020 at 10:26 AM, toomuchbaloney said:

I think these behaviors are symptomatic of poorly educated and informed citizens.  They reflect the failure of the federal government to communicate a serious and consistent message relative to this pandemic.

963523187_cognitiveability.thumb.jpg.0f0e0f92ba5e2e62e3be16f1a59e5baa.jpg

BSNbeDONE, ASN, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health.

The person who made that comment in the photo turns out to be a "Podcast Indulgent". I think he like to get a rise out of people.

Edited by BSNbeDONE
explanation

I think that most of the young generation is selfish and irresponsible. Obviously, until one of the close loved ones gets very sick, and for some individuals resulting in death.  Stupidity does not have boundaries.  University should play a significant role in educating these students that organize COVID parties. Organize a virtual education COVID party.  I would have some of the students virtually work in a hospital setting such as ICU for a reality check how real and dramatic is this virus on a person's life.     

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

16 hours ago, MelsPool said:

Good God. Words fail me. 

These are the spoiled children of spoiled children.  Tide pods weren't exciting enough.  Now they have to push over statues and sicken their own family members.

I'm not slamming a whole generation.  They have peers who are functioning members society and for that I am grateful.

Pushing against the celebration of traitors by talking down their public monuments is completely different from intentionally rebelling against public health recommendations during a pandemic in order to have a party.  But that kind misrepresentation is expected and common in a racist society.

I found the "party ‘til you drop" deeply amusing. 

OUxPhys, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiology.

19 hours ago, albachiara said:

I think that most of the young generation is selfish and irresponsible. Obviously, until one of the close loved ones gets very sick, and for some individuals resulting in death.  Stupidity does not have boundaries.  University should play a significant role in educating these students that organize COVID parties. Organize a virtual education COVID party.  I would have some of the students virtually work in a hospital setting such as ICU for a reality check how real and dramatic is this virus on a person's life.     

Oh it isn't just the young. There are plenty of boomers and gen x adults who are selfish and self centered. It's why this country is exploding in new cases and other countries are not. 

Tenebrae, BSN, RN

Specializes in Mental Health, Gerontology, Palliative.

What do I think?

social darwinism in action. Unfortunately these selfish ignorant gits will not only take themselves out, they put other people at risk

On 7/15/2020 at 10:26 AM, toomuchbaloney said:

What do I think? I think these behaviors are symptomatic of poorly educated and informed citizens.  They reflect the failure of the federal government to communicate a serious and consistent message relative to this pandemic. They reflect a presidency more concerned with appearances and marketing than with science. 

This ^^^^^!

This really did happen in AL and is happening all over the state. These people and their parents and grandparents are avid Fox News watchers and hell-bent on the virus being a hoax and legit think they won't get sick despite the local news saying otherwise and the fact hospitals are barely keeping up. Nope, can't tell them anything. It's a hot mess down here.

45 minutes ago, NurseBlaq said:

This really did happen in AL and is happening all over the state. These people and their parents and grandparents are avid Fox News watchers and hell-bent on the virus being a hoax and legit think they won't get sick despite the local news saying otherwise and the fact hospitals are barely keeping up. Nope, can't tell them anything. It's a hot mess down here.

Hopefully, these nonsensical behaviors will subside now that the president is advocating masks and social distancing. 

No. I think they're too far gone. Kay Ivey finally mandated masks and they're still not wearing them. Some are actually pissed Walmart mandated them too. It's like watching Idiocracy in real time.

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