No Face Mask, No Social Social Distancing: Thousands Of Bikers Gather At Sturgis Rally In US
Over 10.9 million cases of COVID-19 have been recorded so far, with over 7,20,000 deaths, the world over. The U.S. alone has more than 4.8 million cases and 1,58,000 deaths. Despite being the worst affected country, on August 7, the Sturgis Bike Rally started, with 250,000 attendees, with no face masks or social distancing measures in place. Here are some pictures:
People walk along Main Street during the 80th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. The scene Saturday at the 80th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was familiar to veterans of the event, with throngs of maskless bikers packing the streets.
Motorcyclists not wearing face masks embrace during the 80th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis.?
A 7-year-old boy without a face mask covered in temporary tattoos, stands for a portrait on Main Street during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Motorcyclist Kevin Lunsmann who is over 60 years if age, rode more than 600 miles (965 kilometers) to the rally from Big Lake, Minnesota, with several friends. Lunsmann said he has attended the Sturgis event every year since 2003 and didn't want to miss the 80th, despite being 'somewhat' concerned about the coronavirus.
Motorcyclists ride down Lazelle Street during the Annual Motorcycle Rally. Organizers expected the overall crowd to be smaller, perhaps half the size of a normal year, when some half-million people from across the country roared into a town whose population is around 7,000, reported AP.
Motorcyclists ride down Main Street during the 80th Annual Motorcycle Rally. The sheer number of people indicate that this year's rally could spread COVID-19 in a state with no special limits on indoor crowds, no mask mandates, and a governor who is eager to welcome visitors.
People gather for drinks under a tent without social distancing, on Main Street during.
A motorcyclist wears a face mask during the 80th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. A 71-year-old Bob Graham, was one of the few people wearing masks as he walked along Main Street. “We don't want the virus. We want to come up here a few more years yet," Graham said. He made his 36th annual trip to Sturgis from Central City, Nebraska, with his wife, calling it “kind of like our therapy for the year.''
People walk through downtown Deadwood, South Dakota. For Stephen Sample, who rode his Harley from Arizona, the event was a break from the routine of the last several months, when he's been mostly homebound or wearing a mask when he went to work as a surveyor. “I don't want to die, but I don't want to be cooped up all my life either," he said.
A man gets on his motorcycle in downtown Deadwood. Governer Kristi Noem - a Republican - has taken a largely hands-off approach to the pandemic, avoiding a mask mandate and preaching personal responsibility. She supported holding the rally.
Daily virus cases have been trending upward in South Dakota, but the seven-day average is still only around 84, with fewer than two deaths per day.