The consequences of risky behavior mixed with stupidity were made clear in Kentucky on Tuesday when a person, who was one of the new 163 confirmed cases of COVID-19, was discovered to have attended a party with a “coronavirus theme”. Details of the party were not disclosed except that the attendees were mostly in their 20s. The party likely occurred between 10 to 14 days before the new case was discovered.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear was quick to comment. He said, “This is the part where I, the person that tells everybody to be calm, have to remain calm myself. Because anyone who goes to something like this may think that they are indestructible, but it’s someone else’s loved one that they are going to hurt."

He continued, “We are battling for the health and even the lives of our parents and our grandparents. Don’t be so callous as to intentionally go to something and expose yourself to something that can kill other people. We ought to be much better than that.”

Flaunting authority is not confined to teenagers and people in their 20s but overall, members of the age group 16 to 24 are well known to engage in riskier activities than those in older age groups. The behavior can be like trying to sneak into a movie theater to more dangerous acts like drag racing on a public street or diving into waters with unknown depth and obstructions.

The difference between those activities is that they usually present a risk only to the participants and perhaps some innocent bystanders while a “coronavirus party” has the potential to impact large numbers of people.

Kentucky’s cases, currently at 198 and with 5 deaths, is expected to increase dramatically this next week following a spike in known U.S. “epicenters” like New Orleans. The Cajun city is an example of where a large celebration like Mardi Gras during a pandemic can cause a surge in new cases a few weeks later.

The multiplier effect of a pandemic like  COVID-19 means that even one infected person can spread the disease to thousands of others. That is more than enough to anger the governor of any state.

"I guess (the) thinking (was) they were invincible flaunting the mass gathering prohibition," Beshear said.  He went on, "This is something that no one should be doing across the commonwealth. We all owe each other a duty to protect each other. And we simply can’t have folks that are doing things like this."