New Orleans Swingers Convention Leads To 41 COVID-19 Infections
A swingers convention in New Orleans is now being labeled as a 'superspreader event.'
I vividly remember the controversy surrounding the event a few weeks ago when locals were pointing out the inconsistency between harsh restrictions on local businesses in the same city where the 'Naughty N'awlins 2020' swingers event was allowed to take place.
You can read the news story via NOLA.com here, but let's talk about the exact thing that you're thinking at this very moment: Who thought this event would result in anything different than what we're talking about right now?
I guess if there is any good news here it would be the fact that a reported estimate of about 250 people checked into the New Orleans hotel where the swingers convention was held back on November 14. That's only about 10% of the reported 2000 attendees that this event is used to seeing.
Even with the latest strict coronavirus guidelines in place, and attendees allegedly being tested and agreeing to masks there were still at least 41 people who tested positive for COVID-19.
The event's organizer, Bob Hannaford, says that if he could do it all over again he would have avoided this year's convention.
I wouldn’t do it again if I knew then what I know now. It weighs on me and it will continue to weigh on me until everyone is 100% better.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell used the event as an example of what can happen when her COVID-19 guidelines aren't followed calling it "a very stark example of what can happen when you don’t obey the social distance guidelines."
When we ask people to maintain social distance when we ask people to obey the public health guidelines, there’s a reason for that. And when those guidelines are not adhered to, you see a spike in infections, you see a superspreader event.
I know it's only my opinion, but it's hard to use Naughty N'awlins as an example when NOLA.com reports that the city was well aware of the event.
The city did not require a permit for the annual swingers convention, which was a little more than a tenth of its usual size this year because of the pandemic. The event’s organizers said they met with city officials before the convention to discuss safety measures to avoid spreading the virus among attendees.
According to Hannaford, event organizers reportedly required attendees to either have a negative COVID-19 test result or prove they had the antibodies—assuming it would mean those attendees were "not contagious."
Again, just my opinion; but I feel like that approach seems like it leans a lot on "scout's honor" as it put the burden of due diligence on the attendees—but of course, hindsight is 2020, right?
Organizers also asked attendees to keep detailed diaries of everyone they had contact with for more than 10 minutes at the convention, regardless of whether that contact involved sex, Hannaford said. Groups socializing in the hotel were limited to nine or fewer individuals, and people were encouraged to wear masks unless they were eating or drinking.
Hannaford told NOLA.com that, despite the restrictions, the event "seemed like a big success"—until the text messages began to pour in.
One after another, the positive COVID-19 cases began to roll in. At first, it was one person. By the end of the day, it was five. The next day it was 14 and by Wednesday at least 29 people from the event had tested positive.
Even with every single effort to prevent an outbreak, roughly 1 in 6 people who attended the Naughty N'awlins swinger event ended up testing positive for COVID-19 with at least one person who was hospitalized with a severe case.
If I thought for one minute that he or anyone would end up in the hospital, I would certainly not have had our event.
Read the entire story at NOLA.com