The first reported case of the Coronavirus in the US was on Jan 19th, 2020. For months, Americans had denied how serious the situation was. Many said that it was no different than a common cold or flu. They thought all the warnings and hype were overblown. Some even said it was a hoax designed to bring down the president. By mid-March, as the severity of the Coronavirus pandemic became impossible to ignore, many of the naysayers had come around.
Cases were skyrocketing in Europe. Hospitals were overflowing in Italy and Spain. The situation was spiraling out of control. Politicians and the news media in the US finally began to take it seriously. Social distancing has rapidly become the norm. But just a few weeks prior, the beaches in Florida were full of young people partying on their Spring Break holiday.
While restaurants and bars were shutting down, beaches were still open. And tens of thousands of vacationing kids were still ready to party. CBS News interviewed some of these partygoers as they danced, drank, and enjoyed the sun.
One young lady complained that with all the restaurants and bars closing, they had nothing to do. She said, “I think they’re blowing it way out of proportion.” Another partier said she considered canceling her trip because of the virus but came anyway. She said, “it was up in the air if we would still go. But, like, we’re here. I just turned 21 this year, so I’m here to party…” She elaborated that the situation was “disappointing, but we’re just making the most of it.” A young man named Brady Sluder said, “If I get Corona, I get Corona…I’m not gonna let it stop me from partying…Whatever happens, happens.”
His willful defiance and reckless confidence were widely shown on the news and social media. Days later, he changed his tune. He wrote on Instagram, “I deeply apologize from the bottom of my heart.” Sluder has now jumped on the bandwagon, advising people to practice social distancing. He wrote in his apology, “Listen to your communities and do as health officials say. Life is precious. Don’t be arrogant and think you’re invincible like myself.”