'If I get corona, I get corona’: Spring breakers want to party despite pandemic, ban on public gatherings

A fifth of hospitalized U.S. patients are between 20-44

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas – The city of South Padre Island has been a haven for Texas spring breakers for decades and the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t stopped people from partying on the beach, yet.

Photos and videos have been circulated widely on social media of spring breakers partying in masses in popular vacation spots like Florida and South Padre Island and it’s left a lot of people feeling sour, including, of all people, Michael Dell of Dell Computers.

Young adults under age 44 make up a big part of coronavirus hospitalizations in the US

CBS News shared a video to Twitter Wednesday of some Florida spring breakers sharing sentiments like, “If I get corona, I get corona," and we’re “trying to get drunk before everything closes.”

Dell, a Houston-born tech mogul with an estimated net worth of $24 billion, retweeted the video Thursday afternoon and wrote “Anyone in this video, please don’t apply to work @DellTech.”

In another video, which can be viewed at the top of this article, two spring breakers in Clearwater Beach, Florida spoke with CNN Wednesday saying in part, “I feel like we shouldn’t, like, change our lifestyles necessarily just because of, like, corona especially cause it hasn’t been affecting younger people. I think, like, that’s why we don’t take it seriously.”

South Padre Island Mayor Patrick McNulty declared a local state of disaster for the city on March 16 banning “community gathering of over 50 people,” effectively putting an end to the would-be debauchery.

Or maybe not? Senior executive producer for Action Network Darren Rovell shared a photo of what is allegedly a party in South Padre on March 18 around 1 a.m.

“Visitors say the island is so packed that it is taking more than three hours to cross a two-mile-long bridge," according to KPRC.

But the partying may not last long after Texas Governor Greg Abbott banned gatherings of 10 or more people on Thursday.

In fact, he was asked about the partying Thursday afternoon at a press conference and responded: “So any place where anybody would gather, by this executive order they are prohibited from having more than ten people gather at any one time and location,” Abbott said.

It’s worth noting that a 34-year-old California man died recently after testing positive for COVID-19, according to TMZ. He was considered a higher-risk patient. In fact, a fifth of U.S. patients hospitalized with the new respiratory disease are under the age of 44.

A couple from Michigan who recently spent a few months vacationing in South Padre Island tested positive for COVID-19 in their home state, according to a news release.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.


About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.