While the 2021 NBA All-Star Weekend game wrapped up last week, the impact it has had on the city of Atlanta continues. Reports of mass gatherings of people throughout the weekend are still being collected.
The sporting event is known for bringing out partygoers from across the nation but due to COVID-19, Atlanta was instructing people to stay at home. Atlanta Mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, spoke out against any and all public celebrations. “Bringing in crowds, a lot of people drinking and partying – I know the NBA is not supportive of it and we’re just asking people to please continue to respect where we are in this pandemic and not travel to our city for this game,” Bottoms said on MSNBC.
Unfortunately people did not heed the city's warnings and came to Atlanta. Various reports and social media showed groups of people celebrating at bars and nightclub with no mask restrictions, an absence of social distancing and lack of any coronavirus precautions.
Doctors are now weighing in on the detrimental effects this will have on containing the virus. Channel 2 reported that, "they expect Georgia’s coronavirus cases to increase in the next week or so because of the sheer number of people who flooded Atlanta and did not wear masks during some of the All-Star weekend events."
While the potential rise in cases could result in even more fatalities, some people have already lost their lives from acts of violence over the weekend. Numerous shootings have been brought to attention as AJC reported at least "14 shootings left two people dead" despite an increased police presence.