Bikers, ice cream, and COVID-19
Coronavirus cases linked to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally have been confirmed in South Dakota and at least seven other states.
Cases have been confirmed in Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming and South Dakota, where the 10-day rally was held, The Associated Press reported. At least 103 cases in total have been linked to the event thus far.
More will surely follow. Social distancing was not practiced, and masks were not worn by the majority of attendees. Bars and restaurants were open, and large crowds gathered without any attempts to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Last week Elysha and I took the kids to Scooter Bugs Ice Cream Stop in Hebron, CT. While waiting in line outside the shop, eight bikers pulled into the parking lot. Big guys clad in leather and boots, riding Harleys and the like.
After parking their bikes in a row along the curb, they all donned masks and took their places in line, six feet apart from one another, waiting for ice cream.
I’ll admit that I didn’t expect this.
Bikers stopping for ice cream cones was unexpected.
Watching them don masks and observe social distancing was even more surprising.
But it shouldn’t have been surprising. Shame on me for assuming otherwise. Shame on me for leaning into a stereotype.
Reasonable, rationale, selfless Americans citizens wear masks when social distancing is not possible. They do this to protect themselves, but they do it primarily to protect others. When you’re dealing with a potentially deadly disease that is often transmitted asymptomatically, wearing a mask is the right thing to do.
You have to be a selfish moron to not wear a mask in the midst of this pandemic when inside a public space or when social distancing isn’t possible.
Kind of like the 1,500 moronic sycophants who sat shoulder to shoulder on the White House lawn in Thursday night for Trump’s Republican National Convention acceptance speech.
You know the speech. It was the one that violated the Hatch Act. The speech that almost certainly caused further spread of the coronavirus. The speech that is likely to send some audience members to the hospital or the grave.
Sound hyperbolic? Just ask Herman Cain, who died of COVID-19 just 39 days after attending Trump’s embarrassing rally in Tulsa. Cain was seated in a similar crowd of people, also unmasked.
Or kind of like the crowd that gathered to greet Trump in New Hampshire yesterday.
When asked to wear a mask in accordance with New Hampshire law, they booed.
Connecticut has one of the lowest infection rates in the country despite our proximity to the original epicenter of the virus in New York City. Connecticut is in the top 10 in the number of COVID-19 tests being administered on a daily basis, and fewer than 1% of are positive. There are many reasons for this, but it’s important to note that Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont was one of the first governor in the United States to mandate masks, way back on April 20.
Rarely do I see someone in Connecticut not wearing a mask when inside a public space or when social distancing is not possible.
Including leather clad bikers waiting for ice cream cones.