A number of states have slowed down or completely ceased their state’s reopening, and one of the noticeable trends across all states affected is that mass groups of people at a bar or nightclub is a recipe for disaster. Despite LGBT havens like Asbury Park and Rehoboth Beach keeping the crowds entertained responsibly, the Fire Island this weekend became what looks to be ground zero for another round of potential positive COVID-19 cases when videos and pictures surfaced of several self-identified partiers packing in at private homes and beach parties for Fourth of July festivities.
People started to take notice of the not-socially distanced party when Fire Island drag fan favorite (and newly minted activist) Logan Hardcore tweeted out both pictures of Corey Hannon & posts from his social media, where he clearly indicates that he is actively infected with the coronavirus. The twenty-seven year old Hannon detailed his entire COVID-19 battle on his Facebook page, with running commentary. On June 30, he wrote, “Random as hell but feeling grateful! 11:18 p.m. Day 7 and my body has decided it is done with COVID-10. Praying I wake up tomorrow with this good feeling and it’s not just a tease.”
So this guy has COVID sitting on the beach on fire island… great pic.twitter.com/q5CtUOXdbT
— Logan Hardcore (@loganxhardcore) July 5, 2020
When Hannon realized that this posts and subsequent behaviors had all gone viral, his angry beachside video vitriol below ended with “I hope you all get fucking COVID.” Early this evening, Hannon made an attempt at damage control with a video statement confirming the dates of his COVID timeline.
As the weekend progressed, Hardcore and then others also started sharing posts from another Fire Island partier, Giancarlo Kristian Albanese, who posted a video of a shirtless party in Fire Island’s legendary Meat Rack area, where Albanese clearly is showing blatant disregard for any and all social distancing or masking policies (that don’t look to be in existence at this party as it is). A deeper dive onto Albanese’s social media shows that three short weeks before arriving on Fire Island he was visiting Asbury Park’s 5th Avenue beach, which the LGBTQ community of this Jersey Shore destination consistently frequents. Possibly infected New York City day trippers is a consistent concern with New Jersey residents, who have flattened their curve, but have halted indoor dining for now due to rising infection numbers.
Late tonight, PJ McAteer, owner of Fire Island establishments like the SipNTwirl, among others released an official statement. In it, he not only came out publicly against the behavior witnessed on Fire Island this weekend, but he officially banned Corey Hannon from “any restaurant or bar in Fire Island Pines.” He also clearly and specifically indicated the procedures that his business has been following during this time and how seriously they take them. As McAteer said, “we don’t negotiate with the health of our guests or our staff”.
Outspoken and beloved New York City drag performer Jasmine Rice LaBeija sums up the weekend’s activities perfectly, by pointedly both addressing the behavior of this weekend as well as giving people a sobering warning about what the results of this behavior could be; 🚨Attention: conscientious queers in NYC🚨 After the complete disgraceful behavior on Fire Island, remember that a majority of the unmasked people who attended massive parties will be returning to NYC today and tomorrow. If for a second, you think those gays are not the same people bopping around HK for margaritas or chilling on the pier, wake the fuck up. Do not put yourself in danger by engaging in the same behaviors that these people will be doing. It is awful that others‘ actions can impede the limited freedoms we do have, but that is our reality.