At any other time, that funny photo of teenagers pretending to lick each other’s faces doesn’t make national headlines.
But what they did on 7. Posted on November 11th on Facebook – three shimmering girls wearing crowns, smiles and red roses among boys while kissing – is a symbol of the catastrophic division among Americans amid a pandemic.
On the same day 1 died. 007 Americans from the highly contagious virus that struck the nation. Parents sent their children to a big indoor event with skis and sequins.
And while parents who planned massive homecoming dances in Rola, Missouri and McDonough, Georgia came under fire on social media and national news sites after their events were reported by The Daily Beast, those parties were hardly extreme.
The teens were photographed as if they were licking each other in a white, sunlit gazebo in Barnesville, Ohio. Wendy Corbyn Stephen, 55, told The Daily Beast on Facebook that her grandson went to Barnsville High School’s indoor dance with about 100 other teenagers – and that she “was glad he was able to attend. The dance was titled « Footloose, » and social media posts from what appeared to be a Twitter account created for the event revealed that the tickets cost $ 10 and the organizers are asking parents to sign a waiver.
On the evening of the dance, teenagers stood in crowns and palace shawls. Dozens of classmates wore bouquets of flowers and trousers with their faces surrounded by small rings, according to photos on Instagram labeled « The Great Horizon ». . Then they got in, sweated, sang to the music and growled with scraps of paper on the floor. None of the mothers who shared pictures of their children and themselves doing the Barnesville dance responded to requests for comments from The Daily Beast – via SMS, Twitter DM, Facebook Messenger, or otherwise – seeking their point of view or motives.
« Everyone’s cut loose, » apparently a mom tweeted next to a picture of teenagers who died on Jan.. November danced under the twinkling lights. In the background there is a large sign saying « Free ». . Neither the school district officials nor the school principal responded to multiple requests for comment this week, but the school switched to distance learning after the event. The Belmont County Health Department did not respond to multiple inquiries.
According to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center, there were around 68 in Belmont County on Friday. 472 inhabitants 1. 987 cumulative confirmed cases. The Ohio Department of Health reported on Friday 10 alone. 114 new cases, the fourth highest number of daily infections since the pandemic began.
According to a representative on the state’s COVID-19 hotline, private indoor gatherings were held on Jan.. November limited to 10 or less. The Twitter account visible for the Footloose event indicated that it took place at a student’s home, but The Daily Beast was unable to independently confirm this on Friday.
Take, for example, an event in Spokane, Washington, that featured about 50 teenagers on March 21. Participated in a private homecoming dance at a church in Bloom, Pennsylvania November or a week earlier, and then interviewed at least 150 students to do so. Stay away from school as students tested positive for COVID-19. The cases ended with a parents’ dance on Jan.. Joined Nov. 11, which did not require masks and social distancing was not maintained, she said. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
« This ignorance [the] District Health Director Dr. . Debra Bogen said bluntly to a local CBS network connected to our community’s public health. “The spread of the virus is the result of a deliberate disregard of government health measures. ”
In Bridgeport, West Virginia, where indoor gatherings are limited to 25 people by order of the governor, health officials and a local manager said WVNews. com on Tuesday that at least one case of the virus this week with the homecoming dance of “Ma. Between 100 and 200 students.
State capacity restrictions do not apply to weddings, and health officials have announced they will pursue more cases in a county that has already seen what the news site says is « incredible community expansion. ».
In Slidell, Louisiana, a mother named Reagan Abney told The Daily Beast that she had planned a private alfresco dinner – with COVID-19 safety precautions – for about 20 teenagers at her home to get dressed and take pictures could. without the risk of moving an actual dance – like the one her classmates attended.
My son said, “The school doesn’t allow dancing. « There were other parents in Slidell who had an event, but I didn’t allow my kids to attend because of the crowd. « . From the photos appeared to be over 100 photos. ”
« We tried to give them some memories, but it didn’t, » she added. “It was a small private meeting in my house. The Daily Beast was unable to independently confirm that another Slidell dance had taken place, and Abbey did not respond to follow-up questions from The Daily Beast.
The Rolla, Missouri dance that took place on Jan.. November took place in a steakhouse, was organized by the parents. It included 200 students and sparked a wave of COVID-19 cases that were difficult for the local health department to contact because the parents who performed the dance did not keep a list of participating students.
According to Ashley Wan, director of health for the Phillips-Marie County’s Department of Health, organizers deliberately withheld the number and identity of attendees to avoid contact tracing.
A week later, in McDonough, Georgia, parents performed a dance for 250 Ula High School students. Hela Folden, a spokeswoman for Georgian Health Service 4, which covers Henry County, told The Daily Beast that her team had not yet linked any cases to the event, but that her department was having great difficulty infecting residents with the coronavirus questions answer. Call, answer questions, or otherwise participate in contact follow-up in the past few months. This means that she cannot conclude that there was no way the dance took place, she told the Daily Beast.
A staff member from one of the schools on the list said, « I sometimes wonder if the children care how much their parents care about these dances, or if it is more than a photo opportunity and opportunity for parents to Indirectly Living Their Children « above, who have asked not to reveal their identities, fear being disfellowshipped for speaking to the press about COVID-19.
« Schools work hard to take all possible measures to prevent the transmission of the virus in school and then parents take it upon themselves to hold these extraordinary events and undo all this good work » , she said. « It wasn’t innocent censorship; ignoring public health advice was a bad choice. ”
The associate added, « I am disgusted and convinced that this has contributed to what is happening in our society, » noting that cases « have increased dramatically. ”
A glimmer of hope? The end of the homecoming season had the potential to end these glamorous celebrations and their viral broadcast. Unfortunately, things don’t look promising.
According to two students from Ola High School interviewed by The Daily Beast last week, students from neighboring schools in Henry County are trying to see how they can throw what the students have dubbed « winter balls » over the coming weeks. ”
Then, this week, a freshman to Ula High School who asked for anonymity for fear of bullying and peer retaliation provided a screenshot of The Daily Beast’s Snapchat invitation to the official winter semester for Locust Grove High School students – also to the extent of Folden’s specialty. Tickets for the event on 23. January cost between $ 25 and $ 35 and can be sent to a Venmo account named @ WINTERFORMAL2021. When The Daily Beast checked this account on Friday, several transactions had already been recorded under names such as « Locust Dance » and « Tickets ». ”
J. . D.. . Hardin, executive director of communications for the Henry County School District, confirmed last week that the district was aware of the Ola High School dance, but this week did not respond to several requests for comment on the official winter, which was to be a blueprint for Locust appears to be a student at Grove High School, even though the school is in the same area.
« The majority of my school don’t believe COVID is a real thing. You better not even talk like, « said an older student from Ola. “I was confused – why should we vote for a king and queen at home, given what exactly is going on?. ”
The older student, a student of the color at a largely white school, said she often felt isolated because of her interest in the impact of her actions on her family and community and was disadvantaged because she was still studying from home while other kids partying and going to school face-to-face, and she has been bullied while talking about COVID-19 safety.
She said the students who went dancing said, « Why do you care what we do? » But they then returned to school after attending a massive indoor event that violated public health guidelines and possibly transmitted the virus to others.
She said, “I wear my mask every time I go out and go to Walmart. « Everyone is without masks and looks at you like you’re crazy. « . It felt worse, especially when I got back. They sent another email saying another student on campus had the COVID virus. ”
Fulden said her team will « fight today and quickly try to stop officials » getting ahead with the few tools they have, but the type of enforcement the administration can use is limited.
« We’re back to where we were, » she sighed after The Daily Beast sent her an invitation to the official winter party. « It’s like spitting in the wind when we see things like that. ”
When asked by The Daily Beast if anyone in the county would try to stop the event, Anthony Ford, President of the Henry County Health Board said, “We will always encourage citizens to be safe and considerate of others when they are in public. « He said he didn’t know about the official winter until The Daily Beast made the invitation and transferred Venmo.
On the other hand, Fulden said, « It’s confusing to think that people want to congregate, especially in large groups like this one, even when we see small groups that are causing the coronavirus to spread rapidly right now. « She added, » It’s very frustrating. ”
« Public health workers and health care workers in general are currently working hard to slow the spread of the coronavirus and prepare for vaccinations in the coming weeks and we are very tired of how long we have worked and how difficult it is it is, « said Fulden, » overwork « , noting that her daughter is in high school and frustrated by everything she misses.
“But we took the time to explain that if children go to parties and then do other things, one person can infect hundreds. ”
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World News – AU – Teens licking each other in Barnesville, Ohio demonstrated the homecoming dance as the coronavirus continued to spread
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