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What is a 'Covid party'?

Simon Butterfield July 14, 2020
What is a 'Covid party'?
Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images

It is being widely reported that a 30-year-old in Texas has died after attending a ‘Covid party’, but what happens at one and why do they exist?

The chief medical officer for Methodist Hospital and Methodist Children’s Hospital, Dr Jane Appleby, claims that a man dying of covid-19 in San Antonio insisted he had believed the disease was a hoax and had attended a party hosted by someone diagnosed with coronavirus.

What happens at a ‘Covid party’?

The idea behind a ‘Covid party’ is that groups of people who don’t believe the virus is as it is being reported in the media gather at the house of someone who has been diagnosed with coronavirus to ‘see if anyone catches it’.

If this sounds like the worst idea imaginable that’s because it is. In addition to endangering their lives, the attendees endanger those around them, especially because those attending may be asymptomatic and carry the virus back to their loved ones.

These gatherings are not to be mixed up with normal parties being held contrary to lock-down rules, predominantly by young people who feel they are invulnerable but who do accept that the virus exists and can be dangerous.

There have also been pox parties, such as chicken pox parties for generations. The idea behind a chicken pox party is to get children infected with a disease while it is relatively harmless, building immunity for later life when it can be more dangerous.

Photo by Marcos del Mazo/LightRocket via Getty Images

Covid-19 conspiracy theories linger

Since the onset of covid-19, we’ve seen what is referred to as an ‘infodemic’ as unfounded stories have gained traction, linking the spread of coronavirus to 5G masts, a Chinese lab, and even Bill Gates.

And despite an immense and worldwide body of evidence to the contrary, there is even a significant number of people who believe that covid-19 is a hoax.

New York Times bestselling author, Kelly Brogan, who has a degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is a former social media contributor for Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand Goop has publicly stated that she doesn’t believe covid-19 exists.

At the root of many conspiracy theories is the idea that the government is trying to exercise greater control over the public by creating the covid-19 myth and that wearing a mask is a sign of subservience.

As with any major crisis, conspiracy theories will abound and those who choose to believe them will gravitate towards those pockets of thinking, eschewing every piece of mainstream evidence to the contrary.

Why is the ‘Covid party’ such big news

The story from San Antonio has made front pages around the world.

While in part it is simply a sellable, striking story with a large dose of pathos, the media will also be responding to a sense of moral duty.

The hope is that the widespread reporting of the tragic story of the Texas man who fell victim to covid-19 after reportedly intentionally contracting it will act as a warning for those who are willing to listen.

An estimated 572,000 people have died worldwide with covid-19.

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