These Things You May Think Are Harmless Are Spawning Awful COVID Outbreaks

You'll want to skip these events for the foreseeable future.

America may be reopening, but coronavirus rages on. You don't have to look far to find stories about COVID outbreaks in just about every state—many of them resulting from seemingly harmless gatherings that turned out to be superspreader events.

These cautionary tales serve as important reminders that while it may be tempting to return to normal life, the virus is merciless when we gather in large groups. Read on to learn about the tragic repercussions of superspreader events, and which types of gatherings you should definitely skip. And find out how you can avoid the most dangerous events: 97 Percent of Coronavirus Superspreader Events Take Place Here.

Birthday parties

Woman blowing out candle at birthday

It may seem like a downer to celebrate your birthday alone, but birthday parties have proven to be dangerous superspreader events in the age of coronavirus.

As reported by People, 18 members of one Texas family were infected with the virus after attending a surprise 30th birthday party where the host unknowingly had COVID-19. Despite attempts to practice social distancing at the party, only seven of the 25 guests remained uninfected after just a few short hours together. Now, three members of the family are fighting for their lives, including a grandfather who is currently in the ICU on life support. And read on to find out if you're putting others at risk: This Is What Makes You a Coronavirus Superspreader.


Ring ceremony at wedding

Cancelling a wedding would be a nightmare for any engaged couple, but having a wedding that becomes ground zero for COVID spread is truly the worst case scenario.

In India, one couple carried on with their wedding, which included a guest list of over 350 people. Tragically, over 100 of the attendees became infected with coronavirus, and the groom (who was believed to be the initial superspreader) died just two days after the wedding celebration.

Family dinners

Intergenerational family dinner

When it comes to social distancing, many of us tend to be a bit more lax in the presence of our own families despite evidence that intrafamily transmission is common.

One New Jersey family suffered unimaginable loss shortly after gathering for a family dinner, when four family members died abruptly of COVID-19, and three more were hospitalized. Perhaps most devastatingly, the matriarch of the family died without knowing that three of her children had just passed away. And find out why some people are more likely to give others COVID: If You're Under This Age, You're Twice as Likely to Transmit Coronavirus.

Bar meetups

Friends drink and laugh at bar

You may miss having the occasional night out on the town, but right now, bars can pose a serious health risk to the public.

As CNN reports, one Michigan bar was recently linked with at least 152 new coronavirus infections in one particularly harrowing outbreak. Despite the fact that the bar limited its capacity to 45 percent and spaced its tables six feet apart, pictures of the line outside the bar revealed that crowds were tightly packed together, with few masks in sight.

Cookouts and yard parties

Friends at cookout

While it may be true that it's safer to gather for an event outdoors, hosting any large gathering can still be a public health threat.

One Washington, D.C. socialite recently hosted a garden party to celebrate a successful online fundraiser for the Washington Ballet. After inviting "a couple dozen" of her friends to the soiree, People reports that the hostess woke up the next morning "feeling like [she] had been run over by a truck." It wasn't long before news of widespread infection broke. And find out why This One State Is Doing the Absolute Worst at Containing Coronavirus.

Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more