In 2019, in Madrid, with the Don, continuing my quixotic mission to make people happy and save the world
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Under one of my previous articles about the coronavirus, and the response to it by the now-soon-to-leave-office president, in one of my subsequent comments I referred to the Sturgis 2020 Motorcycle Run as "already a virtually untraceable super-spreader." So far, the Sturgis run ranks as the largest anti-mask, anti-public health demonstration held in the world since the first outbreak of coronavirus became a pandemic back in March.
This particularly arouses me because for weeks, everybody was warning that this crowd, a large majority maskless and proud of it (in fact, one could certainly call the 2020 Sturgis Run an organized protest by anti-maskers), was inevitably going to cause additional spread of the coronavirus.
On September 2, the Huffington Post reported that
Officials in eight states began trying to track which coronavirus cases stemmed from the multiday event in Sturgis, which ended on Aug. 16, The Associated Press reported late August. Over the course of the 10 days, the South Dakota Department of Transportation counted 462,182 vehicles that entered the city, the population of which hovers around 7,000.
The city of Sturgis launched a mass testing effort after the rally in an attempt to track the spread of the virus. However, only 650 residents signed up to be tested and at least 26 people were found positive.
All of the Sturgis residents who tested positive were asymptomatic, according to local ABC affiliate KOTA News.
In a report from September 16, USA Today said that the state of South Dakota had counted 124 cases of CoVid-19 directly related to the event, as well as 290 other cases in 12 states testing positive after attending the Run. That's going on 3 months ago, and given the reluctance not only of hundreds of thousands of people who went to Sturgis, but, apparently, the reluctance of Sturgis residents themselves, to be identified for the sake of contact tracing, there is now no telling how many cases have resulted in how many states.
I understand that Sturgis town officials did not want the Run held this year, but apparently business interests carried the day, and besides, the yahoos coming to this event would come, no matter what the mere mayor or city council decreed.
They were coming regardless. Not even the National Guard could have stopped hundreds of thousands of bikers and bikers' friends from being able to say they had drunk beer in Sturgis at the 2020 Run.
On August 17, the day after it ended, the New York Times reported that
Sixty percent of residents favored postponing the event, according to a city survey, and hospital officials said they intend later this week to administer coronavirus tests to any Sturgis resident who wants one.
However, as the Huffington Post reported in September, not quite ten percent of residents chose to take part.
The Times reported that Native American neigbors of Sturgis were angry, and taking precautions, whether or not South Dakota authorities did.
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