Messer cites one Rolla mom as an example of just that prediction; she wrote on Facebook that while her daughter didn’t attend the event, she’d added the health department to her phone’s contacts … so she could dodge their calls.“I’m sorry, but if you’re OK with your kid ratting other kids out to the health department for attending a private event, you are the bigger problem… SMDH SOCIALISM,” she wrote. “I don’t have to answer any of their questions. F#%* them.”“This is how it all starts,” she continued. “Dividing, labeling. Your home raided in the middle of the night. Don’t think it could happen here? Think again. The difference is, our citizens are armed, according to their constitutional rights.”This thinking, of course, is extremely dangerous, helps nobody, and puts the greater community at risk. Missouri is particularly strong in its reluctance to wear masks, led by Republican Gov. Mike Parson. Parson and his wife famously caught the ‘rona in September, after months of propping up anti-mask sentiments and lending credibility to refusals to limit social gatherings. As of this writing, Missouri schoolchildren are not required to wear masks in school. Between the bad advice and lack of science-driven guidance coming from Parson and Donald Trump, it’s easy to see how these dismissive mindsets become a frightening norm.Just off I-44, about halfway between Springfield and St. Louis, and not too far from Kansas City, Rolla describes itself as being “the middle of everywhere,” so as with all of our actions to mitigate the spread of the virus, this is about far more than the city of 20,000. But don’t tell the city residents that. City Council member Deanne Lyons told Messer that the denial and deflection is strong in the city.- Advertisement – “Actions and events such as this are reckless and go against all public health mitigation strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the entirety of the community,” a health department press release righteously scolded, adding that the focus on dance attendees is “pushing us even further behind with contacting new positive cases.” When news of the nasty, no-good event broke Thursday night, the principal of Rolla High School swiftly declared the school would pivot to “full virtual learning” until Nov. 23—which tracks with the end of health officials’ quarantine order for attendees.So how do a bunch of apparent COVID-19-deniers pull off a dance that could destroy a community in the coming weeks? With social media, of course.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – The Daily Beast took a deep dive into the Rolla High School not-so-secret diseased danceathon, and it’s a terrifying glimpse into the mindsets that are so rapidly and dangerously undermining efforts to mitigate the coronavirus crisis. Parents—apparently led by one Cory Coates—secured the use of Matt’s Steakhouse, a venue where customers report masks aren’t required or worn by staff. The restaurant and Coates have already deactivated their Facebook pages to fend off the inevitable swarm typically caused by national news coverage of bad deeds, but the Daily Beast got to Coates’ profile before she could scrub it. “So my friend and I did a thing yesterday,” local parent Cory Coates posted on Facebook after the dance. “We did a REALLY big thing. And we had a lot of support. And a lot of help. And a lot of really happy kids. And it was kind of amazing. And I really want to recognize and thank these people but I can’t. But my heart is full and I think the kids are happy and it was worth it. I would do it again. I’m happy and sad at the same time and I want normalcy. I think we delivered this for one night. #HOCORHS2020.”A lot of support. A lot of help. Worth it. Would do it again. Clearly Coates didn’t act alone, and feels no concern for the infected ripples this potential super spreader may send is sending through her community. An undated Snapchat post shared with the Daily Beast notes that while the venue hadn’t yet been secured, the event’s date was confirmed for Nov. 7 “so everyone has time to get dresses, a date, and we have time to plan.” The nautically themed post also solicited donations and volunteers, directing people to contact Coates. Coates didn’t deny she planned the event when contacted by the Daily Beast’s Olivia Messer, but she didn’t quite confirm it, either. Instead, she pointed out that the school had been hosting plenty of activities of its own during the week of her steak-scented super spreader. “But they had wrestling tryouts, too!” doesn’t save anyone’s lives, of course—yet Rolla parents are ready to stand their coronavirus-soaked ground. Public health officials anticipate people “will choose not to report symptoms, some will choose not to be tested,” and that they “will be untruthful and intentionally withhold information.” – Advertisement – “The night I was sworn in, someone showed up comparing mask mandates to the Star of David,” Lyons told the Daily Beast. “insinuat[ing] that the council members were Nazis for having any restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID.”“That was in June,” Lyons noted before adding that “(t)he last meeting had someone citing a right-wing conspiracy website about masks making our lives worse.”Unfortunately, a night of dancing is unlikely to have made anyone’s lives better. The hard truth is that Coates and Co. may just have planned an event that takes lives instead of improving them. Time will tell if Coates will continue to insist the potentially killer event was worth it.