People packed into public spaces in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, this weekend in spite of the coronavirus pandemic. Viral videos from the vacation spot show crowds of people without masks swimming, sunbathing and patronizing restaurants. Many onlookers were horrified by what they're seeing.
The coronavirus pandemic rages on, yet many people in the U.S. are ready to give up on social distancing already. According to a report by local NBC News affiliate TMJ4, Wisconsin's public health orders were relaxed last week, making it technically permissible to fill up Lake Geneva vacation spots without masks. Many of the revelers reportedly came from Illinois, where masks are still required by law in public spaces. In Wisconsin, public officials struggled to enforce what rules are still in place.
Memorial Day weekend in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
Most folks up visiting from Illinois (where masks are required) to Wisconsin (where they are not).May 24, 2020
The Lake Geneva Common Council decided last week that Riviera Beach could open for Memorial Day Weekend, with an occupancy limit of 300 people. Still, town employees were forced to patrol the beach and make sure that people's plots were separated by 6 feet and remind them to keep their distance. Some people questioned if it was really worth it to go out in those conditions.
"We wouldn't have so many crazy Chicagoans here if they just realized that states should all be following the same thing, not have a free for all in one and having really close restrictions in another," one person told TMJ4.
The response was similar online. As videos from Lake Geneva spread, critics wondered how people could even get relaxed knowing everything that is going on. They also feared for the spike in cases that will almost certainly result from these gatherings.
Public health officials still say that social distancing is the most important measure for preventing the catastrophic spread of COVID-19. Some have even criticized states like Wisconsin for relaxing their public health orders too far. For the latest information on the coronavirus crisis, visit the websites of the CDC and the World Health Organization. In the meantime, here is what Twitter had to say about Lake Geneva this weekend.
'Don't Deserve It'
No, WE don't deserve it... and the doctors and nurses that are going to have to deal with the surge in 2 weeks don't deserve it.— Not Amused (@LuckyMe1950) May 25, 2020
Sadly I do. People in my town are up in arms that the pools aren't open. Fortunately, I like staying home, which is where I've been since February and likely to be until sometime in 2022.— Joan LaRochelle (@momofbaboo1) May 25, 2020
Just Baa-aaa-aaa at them when they say that.— Arthur937 (@cschwengel) May 25, 2020
And they’ll be coming back here and infecting everyone. Spikes in 2 weeks. A&&holes - and they’ll simply blame Gov Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot. pic.twitter.com/IO9dki90hY— AnditheSurlyMiddleAgedDalek (@Ndreajess) May 24, 2020
Thank you for bringing your business to our state. Wisconsin is open for business.— Michael Bombaci (@bombacim) May 25, 2020
"Would you like an order of COVID-19 aersol with your lunch?"— Michael Skotnicki (@MSkotnicki) May 24, 2020
I love that place but there is no way in Hell I’d leave my safe home to go there. Death Wish II 💀— Susan (@Mommeee_forever) May 25, 2020
Even if I didn’t have asthma I’d still wear a mask out of respect. Few may say I’d rather die than lose my freedom to do xyz (you can’t be careful & respectful until a vaccine?wtf) but don’t any of them have older relatives? Also young are dying too. It’s a random serial killer.— Sugar Rush Times (@TimesSugar) May 25, 2020
So what don't people understand about the Covid-19 Virus? I don't get it. Do these people think the pandemic is over? What is going on here? It's deadly surreal.— Marcel (@Marcel155Y) May 25, 2020