By: Brian Krugstein
Some people seem to think they are exempt from the scope of the pandemic. A recent article in the NY Times, says that some wealthy Americans are going about their revelries and partying without adherence to social distancing regulations as though its 2019. The article noted the ongoing social events with drinking that have started up again for the past few months, despite the spike in Coronavirus cases in many states throughout the country. Some seem to act as though their social agendas cannot be any further inhibited, despite the tens of thousands of American lives lost to the novel virus.
The Times piece holds that indeed, the upper crust of society has to some degree been more cushioned and has not felt the full potency of catastrophe. The shared crisis has not humbled them, but rather they continue to show airs of individual invincibility and mindlessness. The truth is that the pandemic has been harder on the lower classes, which are more subject to crowding and have less luxury to work from home.
Two weeks ago, there was a posh fund-raiser on the East End of Long Island which drew criticism from both Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York’s health commissioner. There were thousands of guests in attendance, even though it was advertised as a social distancing drive-in concert. Photos posted on social media indicated that the gatherers were not concerned about social distancing or masks.
Despite the lax behavior and carefree mindset of some elite groups, they may not be as immune to the virus as thought. Recently there was a spike in cases of the Coronavirus in Greenwich, Connecticut. The spike was traced to a series of parties thrown by and attended by private school students. In the week of July 19, there were 41 new cases in the town, roughly half of which occurred among students between the ages of 10 and 19, who had attended the same assemblage of get-togethers. Tracing the outbreak was harder than it needed to be, leaving many questions unanswered. This was because the teens and their families did not wish to cooperate with contact tracers, an aide to a local official told The Hartford Courant. Connecticut’s governor, Ned Lamont, had commented that he hoped the “power of shame’’ would change people’s perspectives and enhance their decision making.
The article also noted the parents of children in elite private schools, who are writing to the school administrations demanding that schools be open daily and in person at all costs, citing that their children will otherwise fall behind. The fuming letters do not seem to consider that the regulations to open must come from the state’s directives as per the CDC and health officials, who must take into account the health of the masses.