Uproar over 'death wish' pool party at the Ozarks

Top News | AFP and Bloomberg 26 May 2020

One pool party was a crowded bedlam of collective joy and release with no social distancing, while others heading to the beach wore masks: America getting used to scaled-back lockdowns on a holiday weekend was a study in contrasts.

An estimated 10 million people have now viewed video footage of a jam-packed swimming pool at a bar and restaurant at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, as people enjoying a sunny day stood feet or even inches from each other in the water and poolside, despite eased lockdown orders mandating social distancing measures.

"Scenes such as this one in Missouri are inconceivable during the pandemic. Do they all have death wishes?" one woman tweeted.

But another countered: "Just Americans being free and making their own decisions and enjoying life."

Missouri lifted the stay-at-home order earlier this month but it still said people should stay six feet apart until at least May 31.

Actress Patricia Arquette responded to one crowded Ozarks video, tweeting: "This 'fake news' stupidity is going to kill hundreds of thousands of people."

Most states are relaxing restrictions put in place amid the coronavirus outbreak. Several mostly Republican-run states across the South and Midwest - including Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Ohio and Missouri - have been more aggressive in getting back to business, but have mostly insisted on encouraging social distancing rules.

Along the East Coast, in other scenes of Americans trying to get used to the new reality, many people enjoying a day at the beach during the three-day Memorial Day weekend diligently wore masks.

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