In recent years, there has been no shortage of potentially dangerous internet challenges that featured potential Darwin Award winners. There was the cinnamon challenge, salt and ice challenge, condom snorting, car surfing, and eating Tide Pods.
The latest example of young people throwing caution to the wind is college students reportedly hosting "COVID-19 parties" where the "winner" is whoever gets infected with the coronavirus first and receives a cash prize. This is a perfect example of sometimes when you win, you really lose.
There were reports that college students in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, were throwing parties where attendees bet on who would catch the coronavirus first. To increase the stakes in the game of Wuhan Roulette, people who tested positive for COVID-19 were purposely invited.
"They put money in a pot and they try to get COVID. Whoever gets COVID first gets the pot. It makes no sense," Tuscaloosa City Councilor Sonya McKinstry told ABC News. "They're intentionally doing it."
City officials first believed that the coronavirus shindigs were just a rumor, but soon found out that these pandemic parties were sadly real.
"We thought that was kind of a rumor at first," Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith told City Council members on Tuesday. "We did some research. Not only do the doctors' offices confirm it but the state confirmed they also had the same information."
Smith did not reveal which school the students attend. Tuscaloosa is home to the University of Alabama, Shelton State Community College, and Stillman College. Smith also did not indicate whether or not actions would be taken against the students for attending the sick soirees.
"It makes me furious, furious to the fact that something that is so serious and deadly is being taken for granted," McKinstry said. "Not only is it irresponsible, but you could contract the virus and take it home to your parents or grandparents.
"It's nonsense," McKinstry said. "But I think when you're dealing with the mind frame of people who are intentionally doing stuff like that and they're spreading it intentionally, how can you truly fight something that people are constantly trying to promote?
"We're trying to break up any parties that we know of," McKinstry said.
Alabama residents are ordered to quarantine for 14 days if they test positive for COVID-19. Those who break the quarantine face a fine of up to $500.
Alabama saw 1,149 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, increasing the total number to over 40,000 and more than 17,000 active cases. There are over 2,100 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Tuscaloosa County and 39 deaths.
So much for higher education.
[embedded content] Official: Alabama students with virus had parties youtu.be