This was easily the largest rally I have ever seen on the South Fork or in Suffolk County. Official estimate according to the Patch.com about 1000 people. Just imagine Main street (Rte 27) filled on both sides and on the sidewalks with protestors: from the Bridgehampton Community House to the Monument. We marched the distance and back, twice.
The chants included: “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”, “Black Lives Matter”, “Justice for Floyd,” “Silence = Violence”, “Be the Change”, “I can’t breathe.” And the crowd lay on the street face down and hands in the back for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the time that Floyd begged for help.
The videos on the Patch.com are telling. The story is also covered by the East Hampton Star.
You are probably wondering about social distancing etc. While everyone was wearing some kind of mask, the 6′ distancing rule was obviously not feasible. There were quite a few elderly demonstrators (including myself), known to be in the high-risk COVID-19 category. It will be interesting to see whether there is a mini-outbreak of COVID-19 from this event. Something that should be quite easy to determine from contact tracing.
I am similarly curious about all the rallies across the country.
There is nothing easy about contact tracing. Let’s hope it won’t be put to the test.
Chris Hayes just had Dr Hotez, epidemiologist, Baylor University, and he’s war I g of a spike. Says probably nonlinear, he’s looking to Aug/Sept for big outbreak.
Here are the numbers: in the last 2 weeks there have been 1651 new cases of documented COVID-19 (PCR swab tested positive) in Suffolk county. The rate of new cases is staying pretty constant. I am assuming that people stay infectious for about 2 weeks into their disease. Since there are about 1,477,000 people in Suffolk county, this translates into 1.1 infectious persons for every 1000 people: 1651/1477000 x 100. Therefore one can expect at least one infectious person was present at the Bridgehampton rally. This does not account for an influx of NYC summer tourists which probably translates in to higher odds for a COVID-19 person present at the rally.
Addendum in regard to Bridgehampton rally from Steve Bellone, as per the EH Star:
“For the most part, however, we have seen social distancing. It has been a challenge, I would say, but there have been a lot of people wearing face coverings. Not universally,” Mr. Bellone said. “When you have gatherings of that size now, when you still have 250 people in the hospital and we’re getting [new] positives every day . . . yes, that is a concern. We will be looking 10 days, two weeks out from here to see if there is an impact.”
Glad to hear that they “will be looking” for the impact.