Before I begin, I would like to make it abundantly clear that in light of where we decided to take our Spring Break family vacation, my family and I have been tested for COVID-19 and our results came back negative.
My family and I had taken a family vacation to Las Vegas before, about eight years ago, when I was about 12 or 13 years old. Of course, my experience of The Strip was limited because I was far from the legal age to participate in anything and everything iconic to Sin City, but it was fun nonetheless. So when my parents asked if I wanted to return almost a decade later now that I'm 21 years old and can get the full Vegas experience, I jumped at the opportunity. At the time, we made our plans when the Coronavirus wasn't as serious as it is now.
We had stayed in Las Vegas for a little less than a week. We did the cliche' touristy things like visiting the Hoover Dam, touring Red Rock Canyon, and spent the rest of our week on The Strip having a mini photo-shoot, getting tattoos, and engaging in less-than-responsible adult activities like drinking in public and gambling. Still, day-by-day, we watched the lights of The Strip slowly dim into nothingness and eventually become a ghost town.
Granted, the Coronavirus caused enough of a scare that countless tourists cancelled their trips and reservations prior to Spring Break, so there were significantly less people than there should've been if COVID-19 wasn't a factor.
If you are following the news, social media, and any and all community and state announcements regarding the Coronavirus, you are more than aware of the toll that this is taking on every major city, especially the ones that rely so heavily on tourism. Everything took a turn for the worst.
Here is the insane 3-day timeline that ceased any and all life in Las Vegas.
Monday, March 16th
The CEO of MGM resorts released a statement that MGM Grand and its connecting resorts such as Encore, Wynn, The Bellagio, The Mirage, Mandalay Bay, and the Luxor would close its casino operations and completely close the properties on Tuesday the 17th.
Tuesday, March 17th
All MGM properties and their exhibits closed. The Governor of Nevada implemented a statewide lockdown lasting a minimum of 30 days. All businesses that are not necessary were required to close during this time. From here, all resorts, hotels, and casinos on the Las Vegas Strip implemented a mandatory shut-down and check-out for all guests the following morning.
Wednesday, March 18th
All tourists and guests were forced to leave the hotels by 11:00 a.m. Thus, the highways filled with heartbroken travellers, hoping to find sanctuary in their home states that inevitably, would not exist.
The Strip, a legendary area in Las Vegas, fell into complete darkness for the first time ever. A city that never sleeps, just like New York City, is in a restless sleep until further notice and it's beyond heartwrenching.
The Coronavirus has gotten extremely out of hand. If anything, it exposed how truly disgusting we are as a species by not practicing basic hygiene like washing your hands. Countless news outlets have made it a repetitive point that social distancing, coughing and sneezing into your arm rather than your hands, avoiding touching your face, and washing your hands is crucial to "flattening the curve" of COVID-19.
We touch hundreds to thousands of objects per day, mostly consisting of doorknobs and handles, toilet handles, and so on, but we never consciously think of how unsanitary these and other common surfaces are until a virus that spreads so easily tries to wipe out humanity.
The moral and lesson of this whole experience: don't be gross, wash your hands, and practice basic hygiene.
Contact your friends, family members, and loved ones to make sure they're okay during this whole fiasco. They need it.
Viva Las Vegas, right?Personal Photo