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Disney and Coronavirus: Cast Members Say Park Bosses Hiding Full Extent Of Crew Illnesses

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BY September 9, 2020
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For my money (a wad of two-dollar bills and some Showbiz Pizza tokens), amusement park reopenings have produced some of the most startling images of the pandemic. Here we all are, quarantining and taking care of (essential) business. On the other hand, here’s a park full of strangers together. No matter how diligent these joints claim they’re being, they haven’t convinced me. And it turns out my instincts are correct. Employees say when it comes to coronavirus, Disney is not the happiest place on earth.

Disney Coronavirus Issue Is at Disneyland

disney coronavirus image via Travis Gergen on Unsplash

According to The Daily Beast, Disney employees, aka cast members at Disneyland, tell a scary tale. While Disney World in Orlando, Florida, has been home to the infamous NBA “Bubble,” things at Anaheim, California’s Disneyland are a lot more loosey-goosey. In the Bubble, they have “…strict social distancing guidelines and isolation requirements, paired with regular on-site testing,” as Daily Beast says. On the other coast and hand, they…do not.

For example, Downtown Disney (at Disneyland) offers no testing on-site. Cast members are also working among thousands of visitors with no more protection than face masks, maybe, and temperature screenings.

More Alarmingly, Disney is Being Cagey about COVID Contact Tracing

With such a laidback approach, it shouldn’t be surprising then that no one is quite sure about coronavirus at the Disney park. Specifically, cast members don’t know who has it or when they had it. This obviously makes it difficult for them to act appropriately. The Daily Beast article describes an incident, for instance, in which all but one of the “12-person Horticulture Irrigation team didn’t show up to work for a full week.”

In addition, when Disney does deign to share test results with employees, it’s not quick. It’s often days after the positive test result. As you might imagine, this lengthens possible exposure time. And again, that’s if they tell them at all.

As a result, cast members are now relying on word of mouth to keep each other safe. That’s in part because, as the website reports, requests for help from city and state officials have largely gone unanswered. For example, the City of Anaheim responded to one cast member’s wife’s concerns with the text equivalent of a sad-face emoji.

“The next day, however, the city posted on its Facebook page about Downtown Disney, celebrating the district’s reopening ‘in a safe and responsible way.’ Downtown Disney, they noted, is ‘a major generator of sales tax revenue.'”

But don’t worry. Orange County, which contains Anaheim, has been upgraded from purple to the red tier. That means, among other things, that indoor dining in the city could resume. And that includes Downtown Disney. Who’s hungry?

What do you think? Share your thoughts with us on social media, in the comments, or catch me winning skee-ball tickets at Showbiz.

featured image via by Brandi Ibrao on Unsplash

Pop CulturecoronavirusDisneyDisneyland

Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. She now splits her time between the Appalachian wilds (of Alabama) and the considerably more refined streets of New York City. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf. Email her at salome@comicyears.com.

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