The 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has caused hundreds of thousands to catch the deadly Coronavirus after it spread throughout the Upper Midwest, officials say.
The two-week-long rally took place in South Dakota back in August, where half a million people were in attendance, according to Complex Media. The country has been in fear amid the COVID-19 disease that has affected millions across the globe since America came into contact with it in March. And people who went to the rally were seemingly well-aware of the virus and its potential threat, as Smash Mouth frontman Steve Harwell told crowds, “We’re all here together tonight! Fuck that COVID sh*t.”
Well, some may not be feeling that same way as the rally now has been linked to 330 cases and may be responsible for the Upper Midwest outbreak in the U.S., according to a new report from the Washington Post, Complex Media’s Jose Martinez reports. The outlet reports that the outbreak has spread throughout several states and cost billions of dollars for public health care agencies.
The state of South Dakota did not impose any COVID-19 measures or restrictions. Health officials also warned attendees not to participate at the event this year. Nevertheless, many went anyway saying restrictions were infringing on their personal freedom. So far, 330 cases and one death has been linked to the event. Some cases may not be accounted for as some who attended the event refused to get tested. While many were adamant about attending, 60 percent of residents wanted the rally to be postponed. Kris Ehresmann, director of infectious-disease epidemiology at the Minnesota Department of Health, believes “the web just gets too complicated” when it comes to getting an accurate number of people who were affected by the virus.
“This motorcycle rally was and is such a big thing that people come from miles and miles away and they come from right next door. And it’s not reported anywhere who they are, where they live,” said Benjamin Aaker, president of the South Dakota State Medical Association, adding, “Contact tracing on something like that is even harder than it is during normal circumstances.”