All that bar-hopping and spring-breaking: Press ignores protests as source of new wave of COVID-19

With a new wave, or peak, of Chinese coronavirus cases shutting much of the country down again, and news getting out about how it's younger people being infected, the press is blaming bar-hopping and spring break travel. And in the case of the Washington Post, President Trump's rally in Arizona, too. Here's one account from the Washington Post:

Health officials are imploring young people to wear masks and practice social distancing as coronavirus transmission among younger Americans continues to drive record outbreaks in several states.

The pleas come as governors in Texas and Florida instituted new limits on bars and alcohol consumption to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, citing the skyrocketing number of young people who are contracting it. 

Anything to ignore the elephant in the room: raw, undistanced, unprotected, mass protests over the police-brutality death of George Floyd. The Washington Post actually excuses the protests.

Curiously, the new wave of cases among young people now coincides with the waves of unprotected protests and lootings - five-, ten-day incubation periods, meaning the cases were contracted right about when the protests and lootings were going on. Apparently, everyone was out bar-hopping, according to the press reports seen now. Yet the anecdotal evidence is everywhere:









Make no mistake, bar-hopping does seem to be a factor in some places. Texas and Florida, which avoided the worst of the coronavirus earlier, are moving in to shut bars down for now. The New York Times argues that bars are uniquely suited to the spread of the virus and lays out a decent case.

COVID-19 maps also show big spreads in sunbelt states such as Arizona, Texas, and Southern California, which are arguably, but not uniquely, bar-hopping places, it certainly wouldn't explain drink-and-socialize havens such as Boston and New York.

Yet virtually all of the blame is going to travel and bar-hopping. Protests are being dismissed because New York is seeing few cases, despite high protests and big looting extravaganzas. That's still something that remains to be seen as secondary cases come in from the vulnerable, and it may well be because the place was already hard hit, and people ride the subways, factors that could contribute to herd immunity. Other anomalies abound, too: Note also that one of the hardest-hit areas, Imperial County in Southern California, was always an extreme hotspot even before the second wave - a redoubt of farmworkers coming from northern Mexico, where there have been some very high infection rates and little medical care of any kind for the poor. Minnesota with its protests is cited as a place of low new transmissions but its figures are going up, even as the press downplays them.

Bottom line, it's likely more than one source. But to leave the unchecked, unmasked, un-ruled protests out is appalling, pure politicization of public health in the interests of being woke. 

And that calls mind some disgraceful politicizations of the COVID seen recently:

1. Public health experts, in an open letter from the University of Washington, which created the quarantine guidelines, have killed their own credibility in demanding an economic shutdown earlier by publicly endorsing the protests as much more important than preventing the spread of COVID.

Letter here, emphasis mine:

Staying at home, social distancing, and public masking are effective at minimizing the spread of COVID-19. To the extent possible, we support the application of these public health best practices during demonstrations that call attention to the pervasive lethal force of white supremacy. However, as public health advocates, we do not condemn these gatherings as risky for COVID-19 transmission. We support them as vital to the national public health and to the threatened health specifically of Black people in the United States. We can show that support by facilitating safest protesting practices without detracting from demonstrators’ ability to gather and demand change. This should not be confused with a permissive stance on all gatherings, particularly protests against stay-home orders. Those actions not only oppose public health interventions, but are also rooted in white nationalism and run contrary to respect for Black lives. Protests against systemic racism, which fosters the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on Black communities and also perpetuates police violence, must be supported.

2. Plenty of doctors and nurses, until recently hailed as heroes, have jumped in and joined the protests, too. Not a serious bunch: their lucky patients.

3. Public health officials doing contact tracing in New York have been explicitly instructed to not ask COVID patients if they've attended any of the protests or lootings -- and they're having a curiously bad time getting anyone to help them out anyway as to their whereabouts when they contracted the virus. 

4. In far-left Oregon, public health officials have exempted black people from wearing COVID masks, allowing them to catch the illness and spread it to others, solely on the grounds that they are victims of racism who may not like wearing masks. Their health is secondary.

Yet there's also this from USA Today a couple weeks ago:

Public health officials warn new cases of COVID-19 probably will emerge after mass gatherings that followed Floyd's death in Minneapolis and racial unrest in cities across America.

Health experts fear carriers of the coronavirus with no symptoms could unwittingly infect others at protests where social distancing is not taking place. The merit of the protesters' cause "doesn’t prevent them from getting the virus,” said Bradley Pollock, chairman of the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of California-Davis.

At least one protester in Tampa, Florida, had COVID-19. Experts say potential cases need to be monitored over two weeks, the virus’s incubation period, and we won’t know for sure how many cases have amassed from the protests until then.

Why exactly isn't that an issue in the press today? The protests, the frustrations, the politicizations have all contributed to this spike in cases, as have other factors. But only protests seem to be too hot to handle. Why is truth such as hard thing to handle for leftists doing this press coverage?

Photo illustration by Monica Showalter with use of Twitter screen shot and Pixabay public domain image.

If you experience technical problems, please write to