Is the MN State Fair the next Sturgis (some think)

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Earlier this week, organizers of the Minnesota State Fair revealed their health guidelines for the fair. These guidelines basically boil down to what COVID-19 vaccinations and masks not be required (although strongly encouraged), and there will be no limit on the ability to participate. There are a few exceptions as to when and where masks will be required, which you can read about here.

The annual Sturgis Bike Rally in South Dakota just wrapped up, and it received a lot of criticism and accusations for being a super-propagator event. Reports say more than 525,000 visitors showed up for this year’s rally, up almost 14% from last year. While opponents criticized the event for its irresponsibility, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem defended the event, saying, “I think it’s interesting that this side, this political party, the Democrats, who embrace abortion on demand, accuse us of embracing death when we simply allow people to make personal choices and have personal responsibility for when they want to come together, when they want to come together and spend time outdoors enjoying their way of life. ”Another major event, the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago, has just taken place and subsequently presented as a success with“ no evidence ”to link it to an increase in cases of COVID-19.

As the Minnesota State Fair – which in 2019 saw more than 2.1 million attendees – approach, a Minnesotan took to Reddit to publicly ask: The Minnesota State Fair is she Sturgis’ next gathering?

“Packing tens of thousands of Midwestern people into a somewhat confined area with what looks like somewhat lax / optional mask rules,” Reddit user u / minnesota2194 wondered, “Sturgis took a lot heat but I think the state fair is less and less. “

“Exactly the same, except the state fair has less leather,” one Reddit user agreed. “I guess Sturgis also had more people coming from a larger geographic location.”

“Sturgis brings together hundreds of thousands of people from all over the country. […] MN State Fair brings together mainly people from Minnesota. By this nature, it is likely that more of them will be vaccinated and may in fact wear masks, ”said another. “I doubt it, though. MN State Fair is going to be a great spreading event. “

“People were also pissed off by Sturgis last year and very little resulted from it,” retorted one Reddit user. “There is significant community transmission anyway, if you contract COVID, it will most likely be people with whom you are in regular contact. “

“Ironic story: A biker from Rochester, MN has protested loudly against his right not to wear a mask in Sturgis, and he is now dead after contracting COVID in Sturgis,” Redditor pointed out, referring to this story.

“Sturgis brings people together from all over the country, exposes them to regional viral mutations, and then sends them back to those states,” said one of them. “The state fair is aimed at families and children and will be a locally spread event. “

Personally, I think the Redditor’s question “Is the Minnesota State Fair the next Sturgis” depends on your take on what the Sturgis Rally is / was. If you think of it as a successful event after which no alarming number of COVID cases have occurred, then yes – the Minnesota State Fair can be too. If, however, you view Sturgis as a super-spreading event from which an alarming number of COVID cases have arisen and people have died, then yes – so will the Minnesota State Fair.

As they say, “Time will tell”, and for now, it seems like we’re still waiting for events like Sturgis and Lollapalooza to tell us.

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