A year ago, spring break parties in Florida exacerbated the spread of the nascent coronavirus, as people were too late in taking seriously the risks of the pandemic. This year, the scene in Miami Beach was not much different, late-night hosts reported on Monday evening, as spring breakers let up on pandemic precautions too soon.
On the Daily Show, Trevor Noah replayed footage from a weekend of packed bars and chaotic, maskless street parties in Florida, in which more than 1,000 people were arrested; in one video, a shirtless man with his face painted like a Joker stood on top of a car and rained cash down on the crowd.
“Man, the Snyder cut is weird as hell,” Noah joked, then turned serious. “Let’s be clear here: Covid is not over. All right? Some random dude can’t declare the end of the pandemic by dressing up like the Joker and making it rain. It’s not a thing. Only Dr Fauci can declare the end of the pandemic by dressing up like the Joker and making it rain.”
But you can’t fully blame the partiers, Noah continued. “This is what’s gonna happen after Florida’s governor called the state a ‘freedom oasis’,” he said, referring to comments by Governor Ron DeSantis. “Like, if I put a Starbucks sign above my apartment door, I can’t be mad when people show up and try to take a shit in my bathroom. But still, there’s no reason that you can’t celebrate spring break and wear a mask.
“If we’ve learned anything from Miami, this is just a preview of how much everyone is gonna let loose once the pandemic is truly over,” he added. “People have been locked up for too long. Once it ends, there’s gonna be drinking and partying, hooking up with everyone – it’s gonna be so much that it’s gonna create the next worldwide virus.”
In a sign of the return to somewhat normal, New York City reopened indoor fitness classes at 33% capacity, “or as it’s known by anyone who’s taken a group fitness class: what should be full capacity”, joked Stephen Colbert, who then imitated a yoga instructor: “now, exhale and shift into your downward face into a stranger’s crotch”.
“Another sign things are returning to normal: sex parties are back,” the Late Show host continued, quoting a headline from the Daily Beast. “OK, the word that most surprised me in that sentence was ‘back’. Call me old sheltered grandpa but I didn’t know they were actually a thing that happened frequently enough before Covid for there to be a pent-up demand. To me, that’s like reading a headline, ‘root beer jacuzzis return’.”
But these reopenings have a cost, Colbert continued, citing a rise in new coronavirus infections since states have dropped Covid restrictions. Things were “looking especially dicey” in Miami Beach, where city officials were forced to declare a state of emergency and an 8pm curfew to curtail massive spring break crowds. “Surprise, it didn’t work,” said Colbert. “Hot tip for Miami authorities: if you want young people to stop partying, don’t instate a curfew. Just invite a few dads, and that party will be over quicker than you can say ‘Sherwin Williams reward points’.”
And on Late Night, Seth Meyers checked in on Donald Trump’s retirement in Florida, where he has “decided to spend his time creepily shuffling around his Palm Beach resort like the ghost of a retired dentist who drowned in a water hazard on the 18th hole”.
In almost all photos since he slinked away from the White House, the former president has appeared in a uniform of red hat, white polo and “slacks that seem to be rising faster than the sea level”. Meyers joked, looking like a “lost grandpa who’s supposed to be watching the kids at the mall”.
“His business and finances are apparently in even worse shape,” Meyers continued, citing reports that Trump’s net worth fell by $700m during his presidency, as well as the intensification of a New York attorney general’s investigation into his tax returns and the partial closure of his Mar-a-Lago resort due to a Covid outbreak.
“My God, Covid follows this guy like a rain cloud following Daffy Duck,” he joked. “His rallies, the White House, now Mar-a-Lago – he’s like a walking Covid test. If you’re ever in physical proximity to Donald Trump, you should just, you know, quarantine for two weeks just to be safe.”
At least, Meyers added, it “really does perfectly capture the modern state of the GOP” that “the guy they tried to overthrow democracy for is now a financially broken ghost criminal”.