Novel coronavirus has hit the global party scene hard. Most governments around the world have issued an advisory asking citizens to be cautious. Many club-hoppers have cancelled New Year’s Eve plans to avoid large gatherings. Netflix parties and group video calls had long replaced pub visits, music festivals, and dance events. Probability of new social restrictions after the emergence of a new strain of coronavirus has also made sure that not too many will be venturing out to welcome 2021.
From April to October-November, the restrictions made sense and the general population paid attention to rules laid down by the authorities. But soon, the reality dawned upon most of us that virus isn’t going anywhere. Social distancing and mask mandates made people miss the freedom of going out with friends and being free. Now, as the New Year’s Eve approaches, party animals are all set to not let coronavirus have the last laugh. The parties amid the COVID-19 scare had already taken a new shape and it has now undergone a swift change of form to let people continue grooving to the blinding lights.
Secret COVID-19 New Year raves
The COVID-19 rave parties started in Europe as a form of rebellion, defiance and a declaration of strength and individuality. People are now so bored with the lockdown and threat of the second wave that these illegal parties have become a symbol of resistance. These events are so popular that they manage to attract hundreds of people. These – block parties, free parties, floating parties – allow people to lose themselves to the music and forget about the pandemic
Most people who intend to attend these COVID-19 coronavirus raves on New Year’s Eve generally do not believe in the mainstream media’s narrative around the pandemic and are prepared to risk it all to let their hair down. They feel that raves are an important way to relieve one’s pent-up feelings after a period of isolation, and pointed out that outdoor events on 31st night posed less risk.
“Secret COVID raves are happening all over Canada. Toronto is still the place to be,” said Ankita Uppal from London, ON, Canada.
“I’m excited about these secret New Year rave parties. It is about meeting new people. People who are sick of the pandemic. I’ll get to meet people who think like me and want to be free like me,” added Ankita.
The easiest way to get a bunch of people together and party has always been house parties. COVID-19 pandemic has made these parties all the more important. Attended by groups of five to ten people, house parties allow peple of all age groups to kick out their energies in a safe environment. These house parties are private and difficult to police and are likely to increase as temperatures drop in the North around the New Year’s Eve.
“Life without any social activity is difficult. I’d like to keep my energies up and can no longer stare at my phone all day. It just makes me lifeless,” Vivek Raman, Co-Founder of Regrob.com told BizTek.
“I get that it’s not safe, but the element of danger makes it even more exciting. To come out of this COVID-19 thingy unscathed every time gives me a high,” said Najaf Ahmed from Sydney, Australia.
Socially-dis-dance parties over Zoom
DJ Vish has been spinning ‘Sunset to Dawn’ mixes every month from his home in HCMC, Vietnam and live streaming them for his friends on Zoom. Bigger DJ’s have also begun selling tickets for shows on YouTube and/or Instagram. These tickets are relatively inexpensive and anybody with a decent internet connection can just get up and dance in his/her pyjamas.
Digital parties have also given new lease of life to all the artists and DJ’s who suddenly lost their livelihood because of COVID-19 coronavirus induced lockdowns.
“It started with DJing only for friends initially and then it caught on. Now I sell tickets for small online shows for 50-100 people,” said DJ Vish. “I’ll always miss the live vibe with people responding immediately to your music, but this is all I have now and I’m getting used to this new normal,” Vish added.
But it’s just another evening, right? No, it’s not!
Not everybody is excited about 2021. COVID-19 is still around and just when the world was beginning to think that vaccine will be out soon, a newly identified strain known as VUI–202012/01 or lineage B.1.1.7 of the virus left people confused and forced them to reconsider their priorities, again. The need to party and dance the night away is pretty hard to grasp for some when the world is in disarray and millions have lost their lives.
“Why would anyone want to ignore public health advice and go out to party? Getting out and partying is not a harmless activity anymore. By ignoring COVID-19 norms you are putting yourself, your friends, and people around you at risk. And that is unjustifiable,” said Priyank Jain, Co-Founder of Retas Enviro Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
COVID-19 is still new and requires intensive testing, treatment, and isolation. The risks are higher but what is life without some of it.
“You should not ignore the dangers but in case you really want to go out and celebrate, then make sure you have health insurance policies like Corona Kavach. The policy takes care of all your COVID-19 related health expenses,” says Vibu Dwivedi, Business Head at Mahindra Insurance Brokers.
Meanwhile, several countries around the globe have taken precautionary measures to stop large gatherings and have imposed night curfew in big cities to stop people from going out and participating in New Year parties.