Although Missouri's Show Me Strong Recovery Plan permits restaurants to offer dining-in services, it requires establishments to "adhere to social distancing and other precautionary public health measures."
If you had walked into the Backwater Jacks Bar & Grill in Osage Beach, Missouri, on Saturday, you'd think the whole coronavirus crisis is a lie. Well, to be fair, if you actually did attend the "Zero Ducks Given Pool Party" (not kidding, that's actually what it's called) you probably already do believe the deadly virus that has killed almost 100,000 people in the United States alone is a hoax. Because there's absolutely no way anyone in their right mind would've voluntarily chosen to be present in this watery stew of humanity in the midst of a pandemic.
No covid concerns at the lake of the ozarks😳 #loto pic.twitter.com/Yrb4UNM64u— Scott Pasmore (@scottpasmoretv) May 24, 2020
According to CNN, although Missouri's Show Me Strong Recovery Plan introduced earlier this month permits restaurants to offer dining-in services, it requires establishments to "adhere to social distancing and other precautionary public health measures." However, videos from Backwater Jacks Bar & Grill this weekend clearly indicate that the gathering violated any and all forms of social distancing. Jodi Akins, from Blue Springs, who attended the party with four friends told the network that the bar took some safety precautions like checking the temperature of attendees and handing out small bottles of hand sanitizer.
Get a fuckin load of the lake of the ozarks right now. Unbelievable, people... pic.twitter.com/e4cFwOCF1R— Nick (@nmaxch) May 23, 2020
"When we walked up my first words were 'oh my gosh' it was intense for sure!! Social distancing was nonexistent. However everyone was enjoying themselves. It was a very carefree environment but security was heavy," she told CNN in a message. "They checked all of our temps and had thousands of little bottles of hand sanitizer!! They did a good job with what they had to work with!!" The bar reportedly announced the launch of its "Zero Ducks Given Pool Party" on Facebook with the promise of several DJs and bands performing throughout the event.
This video is on Snapchat in the Lake of the Ozarks? Unreal. What are we doing? pic.twitter.com/m0qsEQ4KLp— Max Baker (@maxbaker_15) May 24, 2020
"The venue has worked with and taken the advice of government officials and management teams and will be following social distancing guidelines. Extra precautions and safety measures will be taken to provide a safe environment for you to enjoy the event," the bar said. It also stated that it would be operating at reduced capacity and that attendants would be continually cleaning and sanitizing bathrooms. While the novel coronavirus is not likely to spread in water according to the CDC, staying at least 6 feet from others is particularly important at pools or beaches as it does spread through people in close proximity and masks are impractical in water.
Glad not to be at the Lake of the Ozarks this weekend. The lake will be there in the future. If you get Covid19, you might not be. https://t.co/Eb9iGg9ULk— Aisha Sultan (@AishaS) May 23, 2020
According to CBS News, responding to the large crowds over the weekend, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said she is worried about what it could mean for the further spread of the virus. "It's irresponsible and dangerous to engage in such high-risk behavior just to have some fun over the extended holiday weekend. Now, these folks will be going home to St. Louis and counties across Missouri and the Midwest, raising concerns about the potential of more positive cases, hospitalizations, and tragically, deaths. Deeply disturbing," she said.
From a friends Snapchat: pic.twitter.com/OVy4AVdpMD— Nick (@nmaxch) May 23, 2020
With Missouri's stay at home order expiring earlier this month, the Lake of the Ozarks expected a large turnout this Memorial Day weekend after getting a late start to the season because of the pandemic, reports CNN affiliate KTVI. "It's supposed to be one of the biggest Memorial Day weekends we've seen at the lake here in years," said Bill Morgan, manager of Robins Resort in Lake of the Ozarks.
As U.S. death toll from the coronavirus nears 100,000, crowds gather over Memorial Day weekend in places such as Ocean City, Md., and at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri https://t.co/X69vMCwkfL— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) May 25, 2020
Adam Kirk who lives in Osage Beach, Missouri, captured the intense turnout in a time-lapse drone video that shows the amount of boat traffic on the Lake of the Ozarks on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. "It definitely seems like more (traffic) than last year," he said. "It seems like everyone is having the same idea, to come to the lake to enjoy summer, because you can social distance at the same time."
Disclaimer: Information about the pandemic is swiftly changing, and Upworthy is committed to providing the most recent and verified updates in our articles and reportage. However, considering the frequency in developments, some of the information/data in this article may have changed since the time of publication. Therefore, we encourage you to also regularly check online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization.