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Party Online – Releasing the COVID-19 Stress

Party people - it’s going to be alright!

Social nightlife has taken clubbing to the fifth dimension – the Internet. Partying online seems to have become the response to the temporary closure of bars, pubs, and clubs (not to mention restaurants and theatres) due to the first documented case of the novel coronavirus infections in Toronto on March 17th, 2020.

Although almost all establishments in Toronto have closed down temporarily, a new face of the nightclub has appeared on the VoIP circuit. Calling itself Club Quarantine, this virtual queer party promises live music and entertainment “every night of the quarantine” from 21:00 to 00:00 EST through the popular video communication app Zoom.

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Party-goers who are in self-isolation can get their grooves on or show off their moves, powered by the music of popular local DJs. “Entering” the club is fairly simple: use the custom ID (provided by the club on their Instagram bio at 9 PM EST the day of the party) to join the Zoom meeting room. The club received an overwhelming response, with their follower’s numbers almost tripling since it’s party last Tuesday night.

Club Quarantine is not alone in taking group events online. Across the border, high-schoolers in the USA are organizing huge group FaceTime “parties” as an alternative solution to the cancellation of school Proms.

The closure came into effect with Dr. Eileen de Villa’s “strong recommendations” that all food & beverage establishments, along with stadiums and theatres, should close as soon as possible. Dr. de Villa is Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health and holds the power to issue closure orders under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. Establishments that do not comply with the new rules run the risk of facing fines as high as CAD 25,000 per day.

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