What we really know about Covid parties

What we really know about Covid parties

Covid party stories are viral, but at the moment there is no evidence that people organize parties for the purpose of becoming infected, or that it is a widespread phenomenon. A film already seen during the swine flu epidemic

(photo: Jeff Gritchen / MediaNews Group / Orange County Register via Getty Images) According to newspapers, Covid parties are everywhere. They sprang up around March for the first time. From Europe to the USA, it was said, people organize parties with positive people in order to become infected. Since they don't think coronavirus is so dangerous, it would be a fun way to get immunity with the added value of doing it naturally and having fun.

A new wave of news came from America in July. Florida: An immunosuppressed girl died after her anti-vax mother took her to a covid party. Alabama: parties would be organized with a raffle: whoever gets infected, takes all the money from the participants.

Then in Texas a doctor recorded a video where she reported the confession on the deathbed of a covid victim. He had gone to a covid party, he thought it was all a hoax, he was wrong.

There is a problem, however, regarding these Covid parties. In spite of their diffusion in the media, and the apparent plausibility of the phenomenon (especially looking at the escalation of contagions in the US), at the moment there is not much evidence that similar practices exist and that they are so epidemic.

From the chicken pox party to the Covid party?

Many skeptics in recent months have warned the media that the stories about the Covid party have the typical traits of the urban legends and moral panics . It is not physically impossible that a group of unconscious (or victims of misinformation and infodemia) organize a party with the intention of infecting people. For most, this would have an apparent rational is identical to the one of the dangerous chicken pox party for children , still today promoted by opponents of vaccines. In a sense then the narration of the Covid party already existed before the Covid , in our heads and in those of the media.

in Fact, when the swine flu struck in 2009, the newspapers began to speak of the flu party . The concept was exactly the same, but that time also the real-world cases seemed strangely evanescent. In a letter to the British Medical Journal, the physician Peter J Flegg commented dejected:

“it Seems that the party of the swine flu [orig.: swine flu”parties”, n.d.a] in which the print is sguazzata until a short time ago existed only in their fevered imagination.”

According to the doctor in Britain there has never been any evidence of these parties, and seemed to be ubiquitous only thanks to the media hungry for stories about the epidemic. He concluded by wondering if this would not rather give dangerous ideas to someone, the more that warn the population.

A similar situation was that of the United States. The Cdc believed it was likely that the flu party, of which he spoke were a legend, but seen that prudence is never too much told, however the population: if you are invited, don't go .

The wireless phone in the age of the internet

The same invitation applies to the Covid , why try to take it in that way does not, of course, is neither safe nor practical. But if they existed as the legendary stories similar to those of the Covid party , in and of itself this is not enough to say that it is the same dough. For that you have to go near the root of the news. We take one of the most famous cases of alleged Covid party. When the news came to us, copied from the Cnn or whoever it is, he told that in Alabama the institutions they had discovered that groups of young people organize Covid party. In addition to infected, deliberately, each of the participants verserebbe a share: the new infected win everything .

The reality: according to the head of the fire department of the Tuscaloosa of the known positive they would be part of the party . Point. The part on the raffle and the expression Covid party are councillor Sonya Mcnistry , and we do not know on the basis of such information, because he has never responded to the questions posed by Wired Us . In return, a few days after the Alabama Department of Public Health said it could not verify if these parties had taken place. But in the meantime, the news had shifted from local newspapers to the giants of the information. The expression Covid party has moved from the text of the articles up to the title. Match the assembly-line world of clickbait, the covid party Tuscaloosa are becoming a reality incontrovertible .

another recent example is the confession of the thirty-year-old San Antonio (Texas), on the point of death, he would have said to repent of having gone to a Covid party. But the confession of the man is third-hand: a nurse reported to dr. Jane Appleby, who has in turn spread. When it was taken by the New York Times , the newspaper has specified that you have not been able to verify. The contact tracer of San Antonio does not have information that would confirm or disprove the incident. Without denying the good faith of anyone, even this alleged conversion on his death-bed is not evidence that there was half a covid party.

From the dangers, imaginary and real

That people continue to meet together without precautions is a fact, with or without lockdown, but this does not make each one of these events a covid party .

In the case of Walla Walla (Washington), where may had exploded a case, the following officers also have withdrawn: no Covid party . And the history of Carsyn Leigh Davis , girl immunodepressa sentenced to death by the mother of no-vax, which has led to the Covid party? What is certain is that he participated in an irresponsible party without masks and distancing organised by his Church. Covid party is the name that has been used after to talk about that event, perhaps to stigmatize further the people involved, but there is no evidence of a deliberate attempt of infection of participants. No doubt, parties and meetings of this type are risky because a true Covid party. But it has no sense to use this expression for every context-a holiday where you do not comply with the security measures .

All of this still is not enough to say that no one has ever organized or will organize a Covid party . The point is that at the moment, the phenomenon of which you speak is largely created by the media, as explained by Benjamin Radford of the Center for Inquiry . In full pandemic is not a waiver to submit a certain phenomenon (real or alleged) as a fad that is spreading like wildfire among the most unconscious people, especially the young. Writes Radford:

“We have more than enough threats and dangers associated with Covid-19; there is no need to create new ones. Hoaxes, misinformation and rumors can cause real damage during health emergencies; as always, the best vaccines against misinformation are critical thinking, media literacy and skepticism.”

A similar opinion is that of Gilad Edelman , among the first to have put in doubt some of the stories on the Covid party on Wired Us :

“This means that the Covid party are – gulp – a hoax? Not necessarily so. It is not possible to prove a negative result; the evidence may still emerge. But until that moment, the reporter and the editor spread a rumor, not confirmed without the required criterion. [...] When the public is already dangerously suspicious of both the media and the science, publish a story sensational without solid evidence probably does not help”.

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