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Wasn’t that a party

Having travelled a great deal, I have learned to respect different nationalities, races and cultures. Sure, like everyone else, I have issues with the odd individual, but not with groups as a whole. Recently though, I am wondering if there is an inherent commonality in small clusters of like-minded people, that makes them stand out from the norm and become a menace to society. I came across an interesting, albeit somewhat disturbing editorial last week, of a group of people in Alabama who may have brought the human race to an all-time low. I have a good friend, for 50+ years, who moved to Alabama 40 years ago to pursue a medical career. He assures me the article I am referring to is not the norm in the region. Having been there several times, I tend to agree with him, but this story does disturb me. A new craze is sweeping the South-East United States and it started in Tuscaloosa Alabama, a city of just over 100,000. Known as ‘COVID-19 parties’, a group of people, mostly University of Alabama students, get together and invite as many people as possible, each one paying an entry fee. They then invite students who have tested positive for the virus, to join them and everyone hangs out together, and has a good ole’ time. The first person to be diagnosed by a physician to have contracted the virus, wins the payout. Have you heard of anything more ridiculous in your life? As of a week ago Alabama had 41,000 cases, with a third of those showing up in the past 2 weeks. I’m not sure where the mentality, or lack thereof, originates, but stupidity is being fuelled by more stupidity. The Tuscaloosa City Council is doing everything to stop these parties, but they don’t seem to know who the organizers are. Word of the COVID parties came on the same day Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced she is extending the “Safer at Home” orders through July 31st, because coronavirus infections continue to rise. Maybe the students are protesting the ordinance, or maybe they are just wacko. Whatever happened to standing together as a people, battling the forces of evil in unity? Oh wait, it does still happen, and it’s called Canada. Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, award winning photographer, published author, columnist and keynote speaker. Watch his show, ‘Jonathan van Bilsen’s photosNtravel’, on Rogers TV, the Standard Website or YouTube.

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