Revellers from the US have been slammed for travelling abroad for partying at large queer events during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Hordes of people, mostly white gay men, have flocked to Mexican resorts including Puerta Vallarta as well as other domestic and overseas destinations for circuit parties.
The anonymous Instagram account GaysOverCovid is dedicated to encouraging people to stay home and wear masks to limit the spread of the virus, as well as calling out those who have continued gathering and partying.
The account has attracted more than 110,000 followers, sharing posts that show large groups at high-profile parties in the US and Latin America.
Palm Springs mayor Christy Holstege, the first openly bisexual mayor in the US, shared a GaysOverCovid post on her own social media, saying that “throwing and attending [parties] in Mexico as an American is super problematic”.
Holstege posted that “massive parties during the height of the global pandemic” were unacceptable.
“It violates the state’s stay at home orders which prohibits non-essential travel, it’s dangerous that people attending will be coming back to our communities, especially considering our LGBTQ community is particularly at risk and traumatised from the HIV pandemic, and it’s especially problematic as [it’s] mostly white privileged people travelling to a lower income country and communities of colour that can’t afford to keep out infected tourists,” she wrote.
The pandemic has so far infected 87 million people and killed over 1.8 million globally, with COVID-19 cases still soaring in the US and many developing countries.
Members of the community most at risk of severe illness from the virus include older adults and people living with HIV or other chronic health conditions.
People in various areas affected by COVID-19 have been advised or required to stay at home, limit in-person gatherings, and practise hand hygiene and respiratory mask use.