A viral Instagram account naming and shaming gay American men for risky partying during the coronavirus pandemic has sparked backlash online.
Worldwide, COVID-19 case numbers continue to skyrocket. Hospitalisations in the US are at record highs, while the UK heads into a strict third lockdown.
Mid-last year, an anonymous person set up the Instagram account GaysOverCovid to call out gay men still flocking to large parties during the raging pandemic.
Now with over 98,000 followers, the account has posted a flood of photos and details of potential super-spreader parties over Christmas and New Years.
The account names and shames men they allege attended various huge “circuit parties” in Mexico, Los Angeles, and Brazil.
Among them is a gay party boat that capsized and sank on New Years Eve off the coast of Mexican resort town Puerto Vallarta.
Nearby boats rescued all sixty passengers from the wreck, which the Instagram account compared to the Titanic.
In Puerto Vallarta, large gatherings are banned and hospitals are strained with the influx of coronavirus patients.
And in Los Angeles, officials said as of Sunday, one person is dying of COVID-19 every ten minutes.
“They’re begging people to stay home. And you can’t resist the urge to host and attend a party,” they wrote.
“This is not about you. It’s about the person having a heart attack that’s going to be turned away (from hospital) because there’s no room.”
In another post, they wrote, “We are all GaysOverCovid. We’re ALLLL sick and tired of it. But real people are sick, and tired, and DEAD.
“That’s what this page is about. It’s not about you. It’s about us.
“Our actions, directly impact the health of our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends.”
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Exposed partygoers lash out at GaysOverCovid Instagram
The tactics of the GaysOverCovid account have sparked discussion and debate about naming and shaming online.
The person behind the account has copped fierce backlash from some of those angry about the account.
Using the hashtag #GaysOverKarens, one person is even offering a financial bounty to anyone who can find out their identity.
“We are offering a $500 incentive for anyone who can help us identify the mastermind behind IG @GaysOverCovid,” they wrote on Facebook.
“For so long they have been hiding behind the screen trying to out fellow gays, making our community as divisive as ever.
“Let it be known that we are coming for them.”
People are obssessed with the social media drama
However others are simply addicted to the “best new drama of 2021”.
“I have become OBSESSED with the #gaysovercovid drama and need to really step away from the laptop. But I can’t,” one person wrote.
“I need a 3 part @netflix documentary on the #GaysOverCovid / #PuertoVallarta drama right now!” another tweeted.
“I fully believe the creator of gaysovercovid probably has a little bit of an unhealthy fixation they should work on but also… I’m loving it,” one person wrote.
Drag queen Trixie Mattel quipped on Twitter, “I will get my law degree to defend @gaysovercovid.”
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apparently there’s a reward for gaysovercovid’s real identity 🤭 pic.twitter.com/vXXRrWtT5P
— alex (@alex_abads) January 2, 2021
— David Cochrane (@davidcochrane) January 3, 2021
— Clif (@Texden1975) January 1, 2021
— Trixie Mattel (@trixiemattel) January 4, 2021
#GaysOverCovid has been my favorite internet drama of 2021
— It’s Josh Schoettmer (@JoshSchoettmer) January 2, 2021