Opinion: Party time is over

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The Catalyst / Photo via freeimages.com

People should refrain from attending parties during this pandemic.

It should go without saying that a global pandemic is not an appropriate time to party. Despite this, thousands of people around the country have decided to do it anyway.

By this point, everyone knows the rules: Practice social distancing, wear a mask, and limit social gatherings to ten people or less. These rules have been drilled into people’s heads so many times that it makes them sick. From Instagram advertisements to TV commercials to news channels, they see them everywhere. So, why is it so hard for people to follow them? It simply does not make any sense.

The risk of going to a party during a pandemic is huge. It is simply impossible to know if every single person in attendance is COVID-free. Let’s say that someone has a party, and invites thirty of their friends. Just to be safe, this person asks all of the people coming to the party to get tested for COVID before they come. Even if every single person tests negative, COVID tests can be inaccurate up to 50 percent of the time (Harvard University Health). It is also possible for someone to contract COVID in the time between their test and the party. So, at the moment, there is no such thing as a guaranteed COVID-free party.

Realistically, most people throwing parties or going to them right now are not so considerate, so the likelihood of someone bringing COVID as an uninvited guest is greater than that already-risky hypothetical situation. COVID is like the world’s best assassin. It sneaks around, passing from person-to-person, silently killing off more than a million people. Yet many still do not take it seriously.

Party-goers may defend themselves with the argument that going to a large indoor gathering is no different than going to a grocery store. They are certainly right about one thing: both have a large amount of people in an indoor setting at the same time. However, grocery stores have strict rules about social distancing, wearing masks, and often keep shoppers outside if there are too many people already inside. Parties, on the other hand, typically do not require social distancing, masks, or have a capacity limit. Guests often share drinks from the same cups and snacks from the same bowls as well.

To be fair, most party-goers are young and can easily fight off COVID if they so happen to get it, so they do not have much to worry about in terms of their own safety. Unfortunately, the elderly and immunocompromised are not as lucky as they are. The extreme lack of empathy that party-goers have is astonishing, willing to risk the lives of others because they feel like having some fun.

The desire to see friends and let loose is entirely understandable, especially in as stressful a time as the one our world is currently in. But everyone must refrain from doing so, simply for the greater good of society. It is truly impossible to justify going to a party right now. So please, for everyone else’s sake, be a party-pooper for just a little while and stay home.

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