A vibrant group of at least a thousand people descended on Ocean Beach Saturday night for an impromptu Burning Man celebration, ignoring all social distancing orders and drawing a lot of attention in the neighborhood — illegal bonfires included.
People are itching for a good time, despite public health advice, and one of the more recent examples of an illicit party that's drawn a lot of social media attention happened along Ocean Beach Saturday night as a huge gaggle of Burners inundated the area for some spontaneous dancing, etc. Barely anyone was six feet apart from one another, according to reports; many didn't wear masks; partygoers, apparently, also trashed the area. And as KPIX reports, some bonfire were lit despite Spare the Air orders.
Last night, over 1,000 people crowded on Ocean Beach to celebrate Burning Man. This was absolutely reckless & selfish. You are not celebrating. You are putting people's lives at risk. You are putting our progress at risk. No one is immune from spreading the virus.— London Breed (@LondonBreed) September 6, 2020
Everyone in attendance opted to ignore advice from city health officials, putting the greater populace at risk amid a global pandemic. And all for a very brief taste of pre-pandemic normalcy — that Mayor Breed called absolutely "reckless [and] selfish."
Burning Man 2020. ♥️ ocean beach pic.twitter.com/Yb1t3WUNkz— Maya 🐠 (@mayavada)
September 6, 2020
"This was absolutely reckless [and] selfish,” tweeted Breed, denouncing the gathering. “You are not celebrating. You are putting people’s lives at risk. You are putting our progress at risk. No one is immune from spreading the virus.”
With whispers that another iteration of the party might again happen on Sunday, Breed Sunday afternoon stated that not only are the area's parking lots now closed — but there will also be an increased law enforcement presence patrolling the area.
We've heard people may return tonight. Don't do it.— London Breed (@LondonBreed) September 6, 2020
We will be closing the parking lots at Ocean Beach. Law enforcement will be patrolling.
We know people love Burning Man & people want to get together this weekend. But we all need to do our part. Stay home, stay safe.
"We will be closing the parking lots at Ocean Beach," Breed tweeted. "Law enforcement will be patrolling. We know people love Burning Man [and] people want to get together this weekend. But we all need to do our part. Stay home, stay safe."
Breed later added that people thinking about participating in a repeat of last night's irresponsible shenanigans shouldn't heed that itch, echoing the evergreen advice from season five of RuPaul's Drag Race: “Don't fuck it up.”
As of this Sunday afternoon, there are 90,474 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Bay Area — up from 90,211 Saturday.
Image: Courtesy of Renegabe, via Pixabay