Little Care for COVID-19 and a Wild Time at Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
Image from Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Facebook Page
A Higher Number of Arrests This Year
A while back I reported that Sturgis would go on. Now it’s in full swing (it started on Friday), and over the course of the weekend it’s become clear that this year might be different than the others, and not just because of COVID-19.
Several outlets reported on the fact that there is little care for COVID-19 and practically no social distancing at Sturgis, something many consider a dangerous move. Additionally, according to the Argus Leader, there have already been more arrests and DUIs this year.
CBS News reported that there had been 84 arrests, 226 citations, and 18 crashes on Saturday and Sunday. The publication does say that it seems the police are less lenient this year. They’re more apt to issue citations for low-level offenses. This could be the cause of the uptick in citations, but it’s also worth noting that this could be the largest gathering of people since the pandemic hit, and people are quite simply ready to blow off some steam.
The 18 motorcycle crashes have not been fatal accidents and most of the tickets and arrests have been for low-level crimes. However, the bigger issue is COVID-19. It will be interesting to see how many cases result from the gathering at Sturgis. According to reports, around 250,000 bikers are expected to show up for the event. If that many do, and they’re not social distancing—and it appears nobody is—then this should be a good gauge for how cases will spread at large events. Sturgis could be the last big motorcycle event for quite some time if things go poorly.