55,836 new COVID-19 cases today and 1,249 deaths.
According to various news outlets, officials inside and outside South Dakota are expressing concern about the potential spread of the coronavirus during an annual motorcycle rally that opens Friday in the Black Hills and typically attracts hundreds of thousands of bikers.
But officials in Sturgis, the town of 7,000 residents that has hosted the rally for 80 years, are not quite as worried.
Here is the money quote:
“I don’t know if we’re concerned about an outbreak,” said Sturgis spokeswoman Christina Steele. “It’s mostly asymptomatic people that could spread this.”
Yes, that is the point of wearing masks, staying apart and not being in large groups – especially in bars.
Officials in neighboring states, however, don’t share that attitude, which some have called cavalier and others have attributed to South Dakota’s libertarian streak.
“We are concerned with any large gathering sustained contact of that nature,” Jan Malcolm, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health, said at a news conference earlier this week. “South Dakota has seen its spikes, as well. It’s not like they’re going into an environment that has no risk.”
The 250,000 come from all over the world and once at Sturgis will return to their families and communities – many will carry a deadly passenger COVID-19.
What say you Darwin – survival of the fittest?