Not Missouri's best day, this past Sunday.
And not Missouri's best foot forward, this free-for-all bacchanalia at some bars, restaurants and pools around Lake of the Ozarks.
Hubristic is the word that leaps to mind when watching this in-your-face defiance of the gods. The ancient Greeks, who gave us that word, gave us another — nemesis — along with the lesson that the one surely follows the other.
Videos of Memorial Day crowds shoulder to shoulder, of people lounging, drinking, laughing it up in the pool beneath a sign that warned people to respect safe distancing rules spread faster on social media than the novel coronavirus in a meat packing plant.
"Look closely," wrote one woman on Twitter, "Do you see your dental hygienist in this picture? Your kid’s orthodontist? A nurse who works in your doctor’s office? Your co-worker?"
There's the worry.
How about your hair dresser?
A single hair stylist in Springfield who was positive for COVID-19 may have exposed more than 90 people — customers and coworkers — because she kept going to work. We learned that Friday — in time to apply the lesson to Lake of the Ozarks.
Leaders in Lake communities said there was little they could do despite their concerns — a cop out.
Equally ineffective was the advice by Dr. Randall Williams, director of Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, who sent out a statement on Monday reminding people that just as it makes sense to wear your seatbelt when driving and a life jacket when boating, it makes sense to take precautions because "COVID-19 is still here, and social distancing needs to continue to prevent further spread of infections. Close contact with others even if you are in the outdoors is still considered close contact."
This is a feeble response. What was the state doing to prevent it? What is it doing to prevent it from repeating?
State and local health officials could have — should have — seen this coming and had a plan of action ready to go the minute the parking lots began filling up at hotels and motels around the lake. This was a predictable event — indeed, was predicted. And they could have — should have — shut down defiant bars, restaurants, pools and other businesses.
Nobody is talking about or wanting to close businesses, including bars, restaurants and pools, that act responsibly; that move prudently, not recklessly, through the various phases of reopening; and that emphasize social distancing rather than surrender their common sense. There was nothing responsible or prudent about this.
Kansas officials have identified Lake Perry and recent gatherings there as ground zero for a cluster of coronavirus infections that have spread to at least 10 people in two states. Likewise for an Arkansas pool party.
With the exception of a few hot spots, most of Missouri has been relatively lucky. But luck runs out, especially when people think rules don't apply to them.