Several people from the town of Edson in Alberta, Canada have ended up in ICU after attending a “Get COVID” party, according to news reports.
City News Edmonton originally reported that the partygoers had supposedly attended the gathering with the specific intention of contracting COVID-19 to achieve “natural immunity” against the SARS-CoV2 virus.
According to Business Insider, a “Get COVID” party is similar to “chickenpox party,” in which people gather to intentionally expose their unvaccinated children to the virus in hopes of gaining natural immunity.
“I am demoralized and infuriated that people would intentionally add fuel to the inferno, risking onward transmission to others, and potentially landing in the ICU at a time when we have literally a handful of beds left for the entire province,” said Dr. Ilan Schwartz, an infectious diseases physician and assistant professor at the University of Alberta, as per Forbes.
In a tweet, Edson Mayor Kevin Zahara described the reports as “troubling”, while expressing that the town “was not aware of any such party occurring”, but said that these types of events would be highly dangerous and endanger lives.
Meanwhile, in a statement cited by Vice News, Health Minister Jason Copping said that indoor gatherings are not allowed for those who are not vaccinated, due to higher transmission rates indoors.
“Holding or attending gatherings to intentionally be infected with COVID-19 is dangerous and irresponsible.
“People who are hosting or attending these parties not only put themselves at risk of serious illness or death, but are adding stress to the health care system, which in turn may prevent other Albertans from getting the care they need.”