One day before New York City entered Phase 1 of reopening, hoards of people were photographed outside Atlas Social Club, a popular bar in the Hell’s Kitchen gayborhood of the city. Evidently, they just couldn’t wait to get their drink on.
In the photo, taken Sunday, the people can be seen drinking, hugging, and socializing without wearing masks or making any sort of efforts to socially distance. (New York City entered Phase 1 of reopening on Monday.)
Stephen James Markley shared the photo on Facebook, along with the caption: “It’s called a mask gays … They ain’t asking you to wear a condom. Slap in the face to all healthcare workers and defiance of law. Reason why you won’t progress to Phase 2 right here.”
Meanwhile, Matthew Neff shared a video of the incident, along with the caption: “What the f*ck is wrong with these people in Hells Kitchen? This stupidity happened on 9th avenue today. Was the end of the pandemic announced? Did the vaccine arrive and I didn’t get the iPhone alert?”
“Many of us (including myself) don’t get to go back to work until Phase 4 of reopening,” he continued. “If we let people act this carelessly without repercussions we aren’t going to go back to work for a long long long time.”
What the fuck is wrong with these people in Hells Kitchen? This stupidity happened on 9th avenue today. Was the end of the pandemic announced? Did the vaccine arrive and I didn’t get the iPhone alert? Governor Andrew Cuomo’s mask order says that anyone who is out in public New York and is unable to maintain social distance must wear a mask or a face covering over their mouth and nose. I dont see masks. I even see people meeting and shaking hands.Many of us (including myself) don’t get to go back to work until Phase 4 of reopening. If we let people act this carelessly without repercussions we aren’t going to go back to work for a long long long time.
Posted by Matthew Neff on Sunday, June 7, 2020
Many Facebook commenters expressed dismay over the photo.
“I don’t usually like to cast stones because I make mistakes in life too but this bullsh*t needed to be called out,” one person wrote.
“I’ve been to or walked by that intersection 3 times in the last month and it is EXACTLY what you see in this photo. I felt like the only person in a mask,” said another.
“Why have I been sitting alone in my apartment for three months, only seeing a friend or two like once a week out in the park, if these guys are just going to blow it in the end?” a third person asked.
Meanwhile, over on Twitter, people seem equally as outraged.
What a nice day for Atlas Social Club, arguably HK’s worst gay bar ? https://t.co/OA9BjlkaT9
— Michael King ??? (@HeyMichaelKing) June 8, 2020
glad i don't live in hells kitchen this week ?
— Xander De Luca (@AlexanderDeLuca) June 9, 2020
Atlas Social Club and Posh are the busiest they’ve ever been
— Phillip Henry (@MajorPhilebrity) June 9, 2020
HK homo tracker for today—
Why can’t we be responsible ladies?
There will be an NYT article soon about NYC returning to Phase 0 because of a surge. And the cause will be traced back to Atlas Social Club pic.twitter.com/VavZL7HbDt
— Silver Springs (@rorosThots) June 8, 2020
Explain to me why gays are still drinking on the streets outside of bars in Hell’s Kitchen past curfew but peaceful protestors were arrested at the exact same time last night?
— DMG (@DomenicMarzilli) June 7, 2020
The New York Times reports that, while new infections in the city have fallen to about 500 a day, “the virus remains a threat.” City and state officials have ramped up testing and are now employing contact tracers to try and better manage the spread of coronavirus.
Packing into bars for Sunday Funday certainly doesn’t make their jobs any easier.