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Imagine Risking It All for Smash Mouth

While much of the country is respecting CDC guidelines and self-isolating based on their local mandates (or personal comfort levels), realizing that the only way we’re going to get through this pandemic is if we exercise self-restraint and personal accountability, others spent the weekend risking their and others’ health and safety to see … Smash Mouth.

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An estimated 250,000 people were expected to show up for the annual Sturgis Buffalo Chip nine-day music festival. That’s far fewer than have attended in previous years but still about 250,000 people too many.

The festival announced they would be following CDC guidelines and doing extra cleaning, and the events and campground lodging at the festival are all outdoors. But photos of Sunday night’s crowd, which had risked it all to gather to hear the “All Star” band play hits off the Shrek soundtrack, show basically no one wearing a mask or practicing social distancing. And when people gather in large numbers without masks, we consistently see spikes in COVID-19 cases.

The band’s frontman, Steve Harwell, said at one point during the concert: “We’re all here together tonight! Fuck that COVID shit!” Which is quite a lot of hubris in the face of a disease that’s affected five million people in the United States alone. Although he is right: Everyone crowded together there did make the decision to be there together. That was their choice.

Except, of course, unless every single person at that concert also makes the decision to quarantine themselves for two weeks, this doesn’t just affect them, it affects all of us.

At least the prophecy has finally been fulfilled:

(via Consequence of Sound, image: NBC/Screengrab)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.

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