Despite the call for social-distancing due to the coronavirus, citizens are flocking to bars in celebration of St. Patrick's Day.
Citizens in major metropolitan cities across the country are hitting their local pubs in celebration of St. Patrick's Day despite the novel coronavirus being declared a national emergency. With major productions like Coachella, the NBA, and more postponing their seasons and festivities, that isn't stopping the Irish communities around the nation from gathering in tight enclosed spaces to celebrate St. Patty's Day this weekend. One city, in particular, Chicago, known for its Irish population, has seen people come out in droves to commemorate the annual holiday. As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, the streets are flooded with patrons wearing their green festive gear.
One man told the publication he traveled from Colorado to celebrate St. Patty's Day with his Chicago cronies. Kyle Thomas told the publication:
"I’m not about to put my life on hold because this is going around. I’m being careful, I’ve got my hand sanitizer, and I’m washing my hands. So much has already been canceled and we might be overreacting."
Of course, Thomas' comments were met with some backlash on Twitter. Not necessarily because he could potentially risk getting and spreading COVID-19, but because he is a nurse and could potentially pass the virus to his patients. Some of the Tweets calling out Thomas' recklessness can be seen below:
On Saturday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker revealed in a press conference that 18 new confirmed cases were discovered within the state's borders, bringing the total number up to 64. Pritzker stated that he was disturbed by the long lines outside of local bars. According to Block Club Chicago, Pritzker urged citizens to stay home, saying:
"I realize it’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend. But large groups gathering is just not helpful. People, please stay in your neighborhood, stay home if you can."
According to CBS 2 Chicago, law enforcement has the authority to shut down bar crawls with over 1,000 and city officials have urged businesses to limit their capacity to no more than 250 citizens.
Major metropolitan cities including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Chicago have either postponed or canceled their St. Patrick's Day festivities as a precautionary measure. Unfortunately, that hasn't stopped the masses from flocking to their favorite watering holes. Hopefully, this doesn't directly affect the lives of those who are participating in this year's St. Patty's Day celebrations and they are able to return home to their loved ones in full health.