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‘Like, we’re here’: Spring breakers defy coronavirus fears to party

Click to play video 'Miami spring breakers vow to keep partying amid pandemic' Miami spring breakers vow to keep partying amid pandemic
WATCH: Thousands of partying American university students who made their annual journey to Florida for spring break are having their celebrations interrupted due to extraordinary measures to prevent the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus – Mar 19, 2020

Yo, there’s like, all these students on spring break, and dude… they’re not even caring about the new coronavirus or COVID-19 or any of that stuff. It’s not cool and, like, super perfect for spreading the virus to other people, you know?

Spring break festivities have officially been cancelled in Miami, Fla., but that hasn’t stopped hordes of 20-somethings from flocking to the city’s beaches anyway, defying all lockdown measures meant to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus that has killed thousands worldwide.

READ MORE: Flatten the curve — How one chart became a rallying cry against coronavirus

Thousands of college students have been drinking, partying, swimming and playing on Miami’s beaches, even though the local bars and restaurants are closed under official orders. Videos show everyone is having a sloppy, drunken good time — and not making any effort to practice social distancing, as health experts have strongly recommended.

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One shirtless, backwards hat-wearing beachgoer explained his reasoning for defying the lockdown in an interview with CBS News.

“If I get corona, I get corona,” said Brady Sluder.

“I’m not going to let it stop me from partying,” he said, before touching his face.

“We’ve had this trip planned two, three months, and we’re just here to have a good time. Whatever happens, happens.”

Brady Sluder, right, coughs into his hand after explaining why he defied rules to attend spring break festivities in Miami, Fla., on March 18, 2020.
Brady Sluder, right, coughs into his hand after explaining why he defied rules to attend spring break festivities in Miami, Fla., on March 18, 2020. Via CBS News

A series of CBS interviews with the spring breakers has gone viral since Wednesday afternoon, racking up more than 16 million views and plenty of angry responses on Twitter.

“It’s really messing up (sic) with my spring break!” partygoer Brianna Leeder told CBS.

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READ MORE: ‘Just stupid’ — No, cocaine and bleach won’t kill the novel coronavirus

“We planned this a long time ago and it was kinda up in the air if we would still go,” added Shelby Cordell. “But like, we’re here. I just turned 21 this year so I’m here to party … [we’re] just trying to get drunk before everything closes.”

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Many students also showed up on South Padre Island, a popular spring break destination in Texas, to celebrate the occasion this week. Videos posted online show them frolicking, wrestling and dancing with one another on the sand.

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“We’re just trying to roll with it,” reveller Bryson Taylor said during a semi-coherent interview. “We’re just living in the moment. We’re just for, to do what happens, when it happens. When stuff closes, we’re going to do it when it closes.”

Online reactions have been vicious, with many condemning “kids these days” and “millennials” — although the students would actually be members of Generation Z.

Click to play video 'Challenges of social distancing during coronavirus pandemic' Challenges of social distancing during coronavirus pandemic
Challenges of social distancing during coronavirus pandemic – Mar 18, 2020

“Our grandparents were asked to go to war,” former NHL tough guy Chris Nilan tweeted. “We asked these a–holes to stay home on the couch and they can’t even do that.”

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“Spring break is absolutely the first place to go to find the shallowest, stupidest young people,” added user Russell Belding.

“Like, how do I explain to you that other people exist,” economist Jodi Beggs wrote.

“Plot twist,” photographer Abdul Dremali tweeted. “They’re the disease and corona is the cure.”

Even former California governor and action star Arnold Schwarzenegger condemned the spring breakers’ carelessness.

“Stay. At. Home,” the Terminator wrote in a tweet accompanied by a video of himself. “That means you, spring breakers.”

In the video, a shirtless Schwarzenegger can be seen soaking in a Jacuzzi while smoking a cigar at home. He strongly recommends that everyone do the same and stay away from public spaces.

“You’ve got to go and follow those orders,” he says.

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“All the kids are going to the beach, and celebrate (sic) and drunk and all that stuff. This is not a good idea,” he said.

Florida had eight deaths and more than 300 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday morning, according to the Miami Herald.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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