As COVID-19 cases continue to skyrocket in California, one of the largest culprits of this recent incline in pandemic cases is mass partying. Particularly in Southern California, recent social gatherings held by popular influencers and media personalities have made headlines, with unmasked partying and rampant drug and alcohol use. While these raucous parties are characteristic of Southern California culture, these irresponsible social gatherings have caused a sharp increase in disease transmission. Most of these parties are attended by local teenagers and young adults who are at low-risk of fatality from the virus. However, as these groups continue to disregard social distancing standards and face little repercussions, they become “super spreaders” of the virus, fueling California’s recent increase in COVID-19 cases.
Local Los Angeles authorities have begun to crack down on massive social gatherings, starting with the media personalities at the center of these bashes. Popular TikTok Stars, Bryce Hall and Blake Gray were recently charged for throwing a large, non-socially distant party in their Hollywood Hills mansion. In emerging videos of this wild gathering, unmasked attendees are seen closely dancing amongst one another, while sharing cups and beverages. Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, released a public statement addressing the blatant disregard of California’s social distancing orders. While he did not mention the TikTok stars by name, Garcetti claimed “he would disconnect the utilities of anyone who hosted large gatherings.”
While other countries are slowly beginning to emerge from the devastating effects of the pandemic, the US is still experiencing inclining pandemic cases with fatalities increasing on a daily basis. Recent disregard of quarantine and social distancing protocols pose the question as to whether the US will eliminate the virus once and for all or simply adjust to the new norm.