Coronavirus: Could Memorial Day Crowds Lead to a Second Spike?

In April, Vice President Mike Pence predicted that the COVID-19 pandemic would be over by Memorial Day weekend. We’ve just passed that milestone and in the United States nearly 100,000 Americans have lost their lives to the virus.

Despite warnings from the World Health Organization that countries with declining infection rates could still face an “immediate second peak if they prematurely relax lockdown measures, and despite the powerful New York Times’ Sunday edition cover that featured the names of approximately 1,000 victims of COVID-19 (1% of the total US death toll), huge crowds still flocked to beach and outdoor recreation areas this holiday weekend.

Why This Matters: We know that 40% of coronavirus transmissions occur before any display of symptoms and the states that saw the biggest crowds also saw spikes in their rate of infection. For the first time in our nation’s history, political identity, not health or science is guiding people’s reaction to a health crisis. Even more perplexing is the fact that the President of the United States is inflaming this reaction. As Jennifer Rubin wrote for the Washington Post, “Trump’s aversion to wearing a mask and the right-wing media universe’s insistence on making this a visible expression of the culture wars are likely to cost lives.”

FYI: Crowded beaches can lead to the spread of coronavirus but is taking a road trip ok?

Gig Workers Stand Their Ground: The Gig Workers Collective is a collection of 11 labor activists, all women, across the country and has been organizing strikes against companies such as Instacart, GrubHub and Postmates for their safety and recognition.

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