I know you know what I’m referring to. I mean, it seems like three years ago, but honestly, it was a mere 12 days ago that a well-populated pool party here in flyover country sent everyone into a tizzy. My colleague, Bonchie, covered the initial story here: Melt Down Ensues After People Go Swimming at the Lake of the Ozarks.
Seriously. I lost count of the number of social media posts I saw with audible tongue-clucking over those stupid drunken red-staters who threw caution to the wind and dared venture out among their fellow humans for some fun and sun.
My gut told me that was an overreaction (because that’s all we ever do anymore.) When I next took a look at Missouri’s COVID-19 numbers (recognizing, of course, that not all of the party-goers would have been from Missouri), I observed:
Of course, if you’re following the national news coverage this weekend, we might be expected to see a dramatic uptick in the next two weeks, as social-distancing wasn’t being noticeably observed at the Lake of the Ozarks this weekend. Listen, the Lake has never met social-distancing — Party Cove is infamous for a reason. It will be fascinating to see what the numbers look like in another two-three weeks — if there’s a big spike, the nation’s disapproving Karens will have won the day. If there isn’t, then it will appear that chlorine, sunshine, booze, bikinis, and…FREEDOM! (*cue Braveheart meme*) will emerge victorious. (I know who I’m rooting for.)
And, when we got the ZOMG headline about a case being diagnosed post-pool-party, I noted:
Let’s hope all the sun and chlorine helped deter this person from becoming a transmission vector and we don’t shortly see this turn into a “superspreader” event.
Some apparently interpreted this as worry on my part. It wasn’t. It was recognition that I didn’t have a crystal ball and didn’t know for sure what might come from it, combined with hope that basically nothing would. Because if basically nothing did, that meant that the last vestiges of a legitimate basis for lockdown would evaporate (like the virus apparently did in all those UV rays and chlorine.)
Guess what? According to the Post Dispatch this morning, looks like FREEDOM will win the day:
ST. LOUIS — The large crowds of people at the Lake of the Ozarks over Memorial Day weekend have not led to any more reported cases of COVID-19, Missouri’s top health official health department said Wednesday.
“The answer, to our knowledge, is no,” Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Department of Health and Senior Services, said when asked whether more cases have come from the gatherings, photos of which showed throngs of people close together without wearing masks.
Now, before everyone dons their swim trunks and bikinis and dives into a crowded pool, we must acknowledge that it hasn’t yet been a full two weeks since that pool party. But we’re knocking on the door of that two-week window (if you’ll forgive the mangled metaphor), and there’s no indication that the hotspot has become a hotspot.
(Little did I know that it wouldn’t be the pool party that would be the truly revealing (in more ways than one) story about the coronavirus and crowds.)