“You Know What They Are?-They’re COVID Destroyers!” That simple (and provocatively clever) tagline is hoping to bring Fire Island some much needed positive press attention this summer. Between the businesses reemerging after the pandemic to the press that some irresponsible residents and revelers have gotten for the legendary and lush destination spot, it was time for one of Fire Island biggest champions to help bring some positive change to the Island this summer; enter party promoter/nightlife impresario Daniel Nardicio. After galvanizing some of his favorite colleagues, organizations, drag queens, and go-go boys, The Fire Island COVID Destroyers were born.
Nardicio, alongside Taylor Shubert and the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, was formed in response to “last week’s unplanned series of parties” that “caused great concern in the LGBTQ community.” Also joining the initiative is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, who is reportedly supply masks and hand sanitizer to support the group’s efforts. GMHC CEO Kelsey Louie said: “GMHC was founded in the early ’80s to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic with an initial focus on preventing and reducing the risk of infection. This same approach can be applied to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than shaming people, education and compassion are needed to promote behaviors that can prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep people healthy and safe.”
With the recent issues on Fire Island surrounding unauthorized parties, more changes have recently come to the island surrounding unauthorized revelry. News 12 Long Island reports that the president of the Fire Island Pines Property Owners Association says “Gov. Andrew Cuomo was alerted about the posts on social media and contacted Suffolk County officials, who then sent police to break up one of the multiple parties that were happening.” Subsequently, News 12 reports that “The Fire Island Pines Property Owners Association says new rules are now in place for the community. Beach parties are now prohibited, and people have to wear masks on the beach when they can’t socially distance. House parties will also be regulated and monitored.”
When asked for advice on heading out to Fire Island this summer, Nardicio had some sage advice. He told NewNowNext ; “the thing about Fire Island I love is that it’s open to anyone. It’s not cheap; I’ll be the first to admit it. But it’s a haven. It’s always been a haven for us. It’s got problems, for sure. But I think it’s great. To anyone who’s coming out of here, I would love to say to them, really try to follow the rules right now because we don’t need a police presence. Which we’ve learned in the last 6 months, so we need to take care of each other. That’s what this whole COVID Destroyers thing is. We can take care of ourselves. We did during the AIDS crisis, we can do it now. Let’s do it in a kinder, gentler way.”
Contribute to The COVID Destroyers GoFundMe at their website