Social distancing has been a hard concept for many young people to grasp, particularly Gen Z’ers and millennials. There has been a notorious gap in the time it’s taken for each age demographic to realize the severity of this pandemic and halt daily social activities. While news outlets reported that older people quickly understood the government’s message to limit interactions with others and began to self quarantine over the past few weeks, young people have been increasingly criticized for continuing to go about their daily lives and attend social gatherings.
In Kentucky, a group of individuals unfortunately got together to hold a “Coronavirus Party”. This was troubling for a number of reasons. Primarily, it made a blatant mockery of a virus that is causing widespread illness, death, and conflict all across our country. Holding a party in its name devalues that grave severity of the experiences that our peers are going through. Secondly, the party was blatantly unsafe. The World Health Organization has blatantly stated that all social gatherings must be cancelled for our own safety. If we don’t comply, we are going to see the virus continue to get worse and cause more deaths over the next several months.
In a perhaps predictable turn of events, there was an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the party. This angered many community members and garnered national media attention. Kentucky’s Governor Andy Beshar spoke out about it, and in a press conference he said,
“We still have folks that aren’t following the recommendations, and that ultimately hurts all of us. We have a positive case today from someone who attended a coronavirus party. And this is the part where I – the person that tells everyone else to be calm – have to remain calm myself…Because anyone who goes to something like this may think that they are indestructible, but it’s someone else’s loved one that they are going to hurt. We are battling for the health and even the lives of our parents and our grandparents and don’t be so callous as to intentionally go to something and expose yourself to something that can kill other people. We ought to be much better than that”
It is time that these are no longer recommendations, but rather expectations. Governor Beshar went on with a call to action for us all to keep each other responsible and to find alternative ways to maintain our connections. Holding a party as such is asking for your peers and community to have more positive cases, and we owe it to each other to simply stay inside. After all, it is unusual that we have the power to stop a virus simply by staying in and watching Netflix. Socialization does not have to be in person, so this is the time to be creative and figure out ways we can maintain and strengthen our existing relationships. We can do it, and we’re all in it together.
Gen-Z’ers are not taking this seriously, just check out this guy: