A recent concert by Chris Jericho’s band Fozzy is being blamed for up to 250,000 Americans becoming infected with the coronavirus. However, a closer look at the situation reveals Jericho was just one possible factor in what’s being called an example of how to infect a mass number of people.
A recent tweet concerning August’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and a huge outbreak of the ‘rona has people talking and pointing fingers:
Jericho explained his participation in the concert tour, breaking things down last August during one of his Saturday Night Special YouTube live stream:
We actually did four shows this week, and the reason for that is we had our ‘Save the World Tour’ which was originally scheduled for April and May, but it got postponed to July and August, then got postponed to October and November. Four shows remained in August, and I was like ‘How?”. The shows are in South Dakota, and North Dakota, and we have one in Fort Madison, Iowa, which is right near the border of South Dakota.
“The reason why the shows have happened is because these states of North Dakota and South Dakota have low COVID cases, less than 1000 in both states, I think Florida had 9000 today alone”.
“The venues are either outside, or they are half capacity. We are sold out tonight in Minot with I think 50% capacity, last night we were sold out in Sioux Falls, SD with 35% capacity. We hand out masks at the door, the temperature checks. We stay on the bus all day, the Fozzy crew and camp have been tested” (transcript from Heel by Nature)
The problem with Jericho’s claims of mask-wearing and such is that there were numerous reports of being not maintaining social distancing at the Sturgis rally or the Fozzy concerts. According to Sportskeeda
Despite what Chris Jericho said about face masks, little or no face masks were seen during their performance at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
The lack of mask-wearing and social-distancing at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally seems to have been prevalent. According to an article at Mother Jones
According to a new study, which tracked anonymized cellphone data from the rally, over 250,000 coronavirus cases have now been tied to the 10-day event, one of the largest to be held since the start of the pandemic. It drew motorcycle enthusiasts from around the country, many of whom were seen without face coverings inside crowded bars, restaurants, and other indoor establishments.
To lay the blame for the massive outbreak on the Fozzy concerts is a study in stupidity (as was attending the rally without practicing social distancing and mask-wearing). The Fozzy concert was likely just one of many gatherings that saw people ignore COVID protocols, leading to this outbreak. Still, if this study is accurate, then there’s plenty of blame to go around, including the people who needlessly exposed themselves and others to potential coronavirus infections. As noted by the Mother Jones report:
The explosion in cases, the study from the Germany-based IZA Institute of Labor Economics finds, is expected to reach $12 billion in public health costs.
“The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally represents a situation where many of the ‘worst-case scenarios’ for super-spreading occurred simultaneously,” the researchers wrote, “the event was prolonged, included individuals packed closely together, involved a large out-of-town population, and had low compliance with recommended infection countermeasures such as the use of masks.”
Like all studies, this one should not be taken as gospel and will hopefully be peer-reviewed by other scientists to determine its validity and reliability. If it proves true, it serves as a warning of the dangers still present with mass gatherings.
For now, reporters and newz boys should refrain from blaming Jericho and Fozzy for this mass outbreak without clarifying exactly how many other factors are to blame. Short of having a gun forced to their head, no one was forced to attend the Sturgis rally, Fozzy concerts, or any other gathering. Those who did attend also had the option to practice social distancing and wear masks as needed. What do you think of this situation? Let me know in the comments below.