Summer may be ending soon, but the “Summer fun!” meme is just getting started.
You may have seen a “Summer fun!” meme or two on your timeline recently. You’ll know, because the tweets will read, “Summer fun! 🏖️❤️ (*private island all tested negative multiple times wear a mask ❤️ )” and feature a photo of a large group of people — usually from a television show or movie.
The meme is designed to mock unsafe superspreader events — large gatherings that easily promote person-to-person transmission — being held in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. But the meme was actually inspired by a real-life party that was recently held on a private island.
On Friday, 39-year-old actor and musician Daniel Newman tweeted “Summer fun! 🏖️❤️ (*private island all tested negative multiple times wear a mask ❤️ )” alongside a photo of himself and 25 other people who can be seen posing close together without masks on. The original tweet has since been deleted, but not before it infuriated Twitter users.
For some additional context, Newman, who’s known for his role on The Walking Dead, got tested for the coronavirus back in March after someone in his Mardi Gras group tested positive. Newman detailed his struggle with the virus in a New York Times op-ed titled, “Acting in The Walking Dead Didn’t Prepare Me for Coronavirus,” and shared the difficulties he faced when trying to get tested.
Newman explained that when he went to the emergency room to get tested his results couldn’t be processed due to a shortage of beds. He was reportedly given a $9,116.00 bill even though the doctors couldn’t tell him if he tested positive or negative for the virus.
Though he couldn’t share an official diagnosis, the actor said he experienced common coronavirus symptoms including fever and shortness of breath. “Going for walks with my dog would leave me out of breath. I coughed at night and had difficulty breathing when I tried to sleep,” he wrote. And he ended the op-ed by writing, “My biggest fear is that I have passed whatever illness I have on to someone.”
Perhaps that’s why people were especially disappointed to see Newman maskless and not engaging in social distancing at an event a little more than five months after his symptoms. Just a thought!
The Daily Dot also noted that several people are questioning whether Newman’s event was actually held on a “private island.” Location tags from other photos of the event seem to suggest that the gathering took place at Tulum, a municipality in Mexico that doesn’t appear to be private.
Though Newman’s original “Summer fun!” tweet has been deleted, screenshots are forever. And his casual, downright braggy wording sparked the meme that’s taking over timelines this weekend.
People are mocking Newman’s private island party by positing photos of other groups of people — from the cast of Lost and The Sopranos, to a staircase full of American Girl dolls, and more. Here are a few of our favorite private island memes.
If you’re thinking of having a superspreader event in the middle of a pandemic, don’t. And if you do insist on hosting or attending an event with no masks or social distancing, just know if you share a photo from it to social media people will not hesitate to make a meme out of you.