News & Opinion | May 22, 2020 7:00 am

People Are Throwing Coronavirus Parties to Get Sick on Purpose

There's no party like a coronavirus party

coronavirus parties
This is... not a good idea.
Getty Images/Science Photo Libra

There are people who flout social distancing protocol because they don’t care if they get coronavirus, and then there are people who willfully violate guidelines because they actually want to get coronavirus.

According to the New York Post, so-called “coronavirus parties” are on the rise among people hoping to come down with a case of COVID-19 and snag some antibodies. The very, very tenuous logic behind this strategy hinges on the idea that antibodies grant immunity, and with it a free pass to ignore lockdown orders and social distancing guidelines.

The trend is apparently on the rise in North Carolina, where health experts say their patients have reported attempting to “maximize their chances of exposure” to the virus.

“Over the last few days, we have heard from a lot of patients and the community that they’re unafraid of getting the virus,” Yolanda Enrich, a nurse practitioner at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center, told an NBC affiliate. “People are actually out and about trying to get the virus, so attending gatherings, parties.”

Unsurprisingly, health experts and government officials alike are not on board with the idea. “We’re really concerned about this trend,” Enrich said, while Governor Roy Cooper addressed the disturbing trend at a news conference this week.

“You can easily kill someone you love,” said Cooper, calling the parties “completely irresponsible and absolutely unacceptable.”

Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services, also spoke out against the coronavirus party trend, warning COVID partiers that their strategy would put vulnerable populations at greater risk.

“There is no circumstance under which we want people to actively pursue getting COVID-19,” Cohen said. “The reason we’re working so hard collectively to keep virus spread low is the fact that when there is more virus in our community, it not only impacts those who have it, but particularly those who are at high risk of getting severe reactions to disease.”

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