Young People Are Allegedly Creating Mask-Free Coronavirus Speakeasies As Infection Rate Among That Generation Rises
Bars and other locations across New York City have allegedly been hosting secret parties that ignore coronavirus protection efforts.
The secret parties have been shared by multiple accounts on social media and show young adults as the primary party-goer, per Gothamist. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday during a press conference that infection rates for those aged 20-29 had risen despite all other age groups continuing to decline. (RELATED: Study Finds Coronavirus Immunity Could Be Lost In Months)
“I understand for so many younger adults it has been a really difficult time cooped up,” de Blasio said, “But we’ve got to keep telling everyone, particularly younger adults, how important it is to stick to what has worked: the social distancing, the face coverings, getting tested.”
“Tonight I received 7 anonymous tips about ‘secret parties’ in NYC,” Kristina Alaniesse wrote in the description of her Instagram post. “Pretty confident that there were a lot more.” Alaniesse, owner of the kristinaformayor Instagram account, has shared multiple videos of alleged secret parties happening in the New York City area.
“I think it’s very important to spread the message to DJs, promoters, patrons and venues in general that now is not the time, and to be responsible and care about the future of New York,” Alaniesse told Gothamist.
Osvaldo Jimenez, who has worked in the nightlife scene for over 15 years, told Gothamist that these underground parties offer fake coronavirus testing for $50 to $60 dollars. “It’s like we’re just trying to put bandaids on an amputated part of our life.”
An event held in Bryant Park last week had a promotion telling partygoers to not share information on social media and to instead only share information via a private messenger, per Gothamist.
Jimenez also runs the hilovenewyork, which has also posted videos highlighting the alleged secret parties. “All my friends are New York nightlife industry veterans, we were the people doing after hours events and illegal warehouses and stuff like that,” Prince Terrence, a DJ, told Gothamist. “We realize this is a public health emergency, this isn’t a joke, and all of my peers are super on board with only having events if it’s safe and the proper precautions are being taken.”
Andres Diaz, owner of a bar/restaurant in SoHo that had allegedly been hosting parties, told Gothamist that no such parties had taken place or were planned to be there. “I don’t want to throw away the good work we’ve been doing just to make a couple bucks,” Diaz said. A source told Gothamist that an underground birthday party had been scheduled in the basement of the bar Friday.
“There have been offers, a lot of people have contacted me to do cocktail parties, birthday parties, and I’ve been denying them,” Diaz told Gothamist. “Maybe [the promoter] mentioned our name and used our name because we have a good reputation, I don’t know…but I would never want to take advantage of this situation to make money.”