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Betting on COVID-19 (Or, Teenagers Are Stupid)

Stuff link this is why we can't have nice things.

When the coronavirus made its way to the United States, the primary concern was protecting the medically fragile – including the elderly – and keeping hospitals from getting overwhelmed. This is why we sheltered in place, and you’ll probably remember that the highest concentration of cases occurred among people older than 65.

We successfully flattened the curve, but as we emerged from lockdown, many younger people overcompensated and began hanging out together in large groups. Sure, the protesters were the most obvious, but so were people who hung out in bars and at parties. Now the average age of COVID-19 sufferers is far younger than it ever was before.

Witness what’s going on in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. According to a city council member and the city’s fire chief, teens are having “COVID parties” where a group of kids gets together, puts money in a pot, and whoever in the group gets coronavirus first wins the money.

ABC News reports:

Tuscaloosa City Councilor Sonya McKinstry said students have been organizing “COVID parties” as a game to intentionally infect each other with the contagion that has killed more than 127,000 people in the United States. She said she recently learned of the behavior and informed the city council of the parties occurring in the city.

She said the organizers of the parties are purposely inviting guests who have COVID-19.

Fire Chief Randy Smith confirmed the story:

In a briefing to the City Council, Smith expressed concern that in recent weeks there have been parties held throughout the city and surrounding Tuscaloosa County, “where students, or kids, would come in with known positive,” according to a video recording of the meeting obtained by ABC affiliate station WBMA in Birmingham.

“We thought that was kind of a rumor at first,” Smith told the council members. “We did some research. Not only do the doctors’ offices confirm it but the state confirmed they also had the same information.”

We don’t know if any kids have been infected as a result of the parties, but McKinstry says that the city is working to bust up any parties they find out about.

This phenomenon just goes to confirm what we all knew: teenagers are idiots. We all know how it was when we were younger, when we thought we were invincible.

If these teens are willing to put themselves – and their parents, siblings, grandparents, and other friends – at risk, they deserve to have their quarantine extended. Maybe into their twenties.

If Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp says that college football may be off the table if we can’t get the virus under control, maybe Alabama’s Governor Kay Ivey should threaten the precious Alabama Crimson Tide – based in Tuscaloosa – to make the parties stop.

Y’all, stuff like this is why we can’t have nice things.


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