• In a story that proves truth is often stranger than fiction, college students in Alabama have been throwing coronavirus parties where the goal is to see who will get infected with the virus first.
  • City officials in Tuscaloosa, Alabama confirmed the existence of these parties earlier in the week.
  • The number of coronavirus cases in Alabama has been rising steadily since early June.

Groups of college students in Alabama have been throwing coronavirus parties and taking bets as to who will test positive for COVID-19 first. The story admittedly sounds outrageous and would easily be dismissed as “fake news” but for the fact that it’s been confirmed by a number of Tuscaloosa city officials.

As detailed in a jaw-dropping report from ABC News, students in Tuscaloosa threw parties where attendees put money into a pot. The pot was subsequently designated for whichever student tested positive for the coronavirus first. What’s more, the report details that students who were already COVID-19 positive were invited as to increase the odds partygoers would contract the virus.

“We thought that was kind of a rumor at first,” Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith explained while appearing at a city council meeting earlier this week. “We did some research. Not only do the doctors’ offices confirm it but the state confirmed they also had the same information.”

You can try and wrap your head around this story as many times as you want and it still doesn’t make any sense. Although college-age students aren’t likely to experience severe coronavirus symptoms, even asymptomatic carriers can transmit the virus to others. In other words, a student who purposefully tries to get the coronavirus is putting his parents and much of his social group at risk for infection. The entire story seems beyond belief, but then again, college students with an eye towards partying aren’t exactly well-known for their good ideas.

While it remains unclear which college the students in question attend, the University of Alabama — which is located in Tuscaloosa — issued a statement on the matter yesterday.

“The University of Alabama is unwavering in its commitment to the safety and well-being of our community,” the school said in a statement. “We have in place strict rules about on-campus activities and will enforce them stringently. We will continue to follow up on any information we receive and educate our students about essential precautions.”

Per The New York Times, the number of coronavirus cases in Alabama has been rising steadily across the state in most counties. After a noticeable decline in late May and early June, the number of new coronavirus cases started to skyrocket in mid-June. On June 29, Alabama reported 1,734 new cases, a figure that’s nearly triple the state’s daily average during the month of May.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.