This week, a Sunwing party flight grabbed headlines. But maskless, super-spreader events are nothing new. In fact, over the last two years, many Americans have attended big bashes, corporate soirees and huge music concerts during the pandemic despite warnings from the CDC and WHO.
Cases of Covid-19 may be spreading rapidly throughout the globe, but that hasn’t stopped influencers and businesses from throwing wild parties. These super-spreader events have received massive backlash from the media as critics argue that the risky behavior affects everyone, not just the event attendees.
In crazy footage from a recent influencer trip to Mexico, passengers on the Sunwing party flight were seen dancing in the plane’s aisle, drinking alcohol, vaping, and in close proximity with no masks.
Flying from Montreal to Cancun, the passengers arrived and instantly reported that at least 30 of them had tested positive for Covid-19. Airlines have since refused to fly the Sunwing Party flight passengers back home to Canada, citing reckless behavior and violations of airline safety protocols. The group now remains stranded in Mexico as they figure out how to get home after quarantining.
When asked about the incident, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the Sunwing party flight group a bunch of “idiots,” adding that he was “extremely frustrated” with them. The country had recently asked everyone to curb international travel unless it was extremely necessary in order to try and mitigate the spread of Covid-19’s Omicron variant.
“It’s a slap in the face to see people putting themselves, putting their fellow citizens, putting airline workers at risk by being completely irresponsible,” Trudeau stated.
The influencer group organizer, James William Awad, later commented that he did his best to make sure that everyone was safe, but footage from the event seems to suggest otherwise.
The same goes for a recent two-day concert thrown by Puerto Rican singer Bad Bunny, which had over 40,000 fans in attendance each day. After the event, over 2,000 concertgoers tested positive for Covid-19, adding to an increased average for the island of roughly 5,148 cases daily.
Though the concert likely produced even more positive cases, the 2,000 cases recorded just before the holidays were able to be directly linked to the event.
“Went to the bad bunny concert tonight and honestly I’m surprised it didn’t turn into Astroworld pt. 2,” one fan ended up writing on Twitter. “The disorganization resulted in masses of people cramming themselves into huge tents with no security and no ventilation.”
Hiring over a dozen nurses and employees to hand out water bottles and make sure everyone felt safe, Bad Bunny said during the show that he hoped everyone was looking out for one another. Even with good intentions, the Omicron variant is much more transmissible, especially when there’s 40,000 people in one place.
The events happened as many health officials and businesses warned against large gatherings over the holidays, though many continued to celebrate anyway. For some people, over two years in quarantine is very difficult, with many deciding to hold large parties again despite the threat of Covid-19 still very present in all our lives.
Another event hosted by John Foley, the CEO of Peloton, angered employees when he canceled the company’s Christmas party only to have a more lavish, private event. Hosted at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, the maskless group popped champagne and celebrated the holidays to the ire of many Peloton employees.
In Scotland, where the country is reporting roughly 15,000 new cases a day, National Clinical Director Jason Leitch has helped pass a complete restriction on all partying, which he said could remain in effect until April 2022.
“I like an Edinburgh night out, like any other person in Scotland,” he told reporters, “but whether we can bring that forward to April, I think the jury is still out.”
Though many people have protested, arguing that they’re staying safe, the numbers continue to rise. Other critics claim that the onus shouldn’t be on them to stop Covid-19, but that the government should be doing a better job to curb the spread.
Hitting record highs on Friday, the World Health Organization reported over 2,618,130 new cases of Covid-19 globally within the last 24 hours.
Do you think parties should be banned? What should the guidelines be? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!