As if excessively spreading their DNA wasn’t bad enough, the Duggar family of Counting On is facing major backlash after hosting a “super spreader” holiday party last week in the midst of a global pandemic.
The Duggars were seen taking various COVID-19 precautions earlier this year on ‘Counting On’: however, as the months have passed, apparently so has the family’s concern for things like social distancing and wearing masks.
Last week, the family posted a collection of photos on Facebook from this year’s annual Duggar Family Ugly Sweater Party, featuring a pile of Duggars (and Duggar friends) packed into The Compound…and many of their fans made sure to tell the Duggars how disappointed they were to see the famous family snub COVID safety precautions.
“We had an absolutely wonderful time at our third annual Duggar Family Ugly Sweater Party,” the Duggars’ social media post read.
“Everyone went ALL OUT on their outfits, John was the ultimate winner of the ugliest sweater!! We also did a white elephant gift exchange and had a baking competition. I think my sides still hurt from all the laughter and good food!! We even got some snow this weekend so it is really feeling like Christmas around here! I love it!!”
According to The Sun, John (who is a pilot, in case you haven’t heard) not only won the title of ugliest sweater, but also arrived to the festivities by helicopter – no surprise there – and even went on to take guests on brief rides around The Compound.
The Arkansas Department of Health’s Holiday Guidelines currently recommend its residents wear face coverings any time they’re with people they don’t live with, and to “avoid events and activities where large numbers of attendees are expected.”
“If you attend events, ensure you always maintain 6-feet physical distance from anyone who does not live in your household.”
It also recommends that event hosts provide face coverings for any attendee without one, and that they limit the number of guests so that they can make sure there’s at least six feet maintained between households.
While Jim Bob and Michelle may not have seen anything wrong with their supersized, mask-less celebration, that sentiment was not shared by many fans online who slammed the family for choosing to host a huge indoor party without taking any precautions.
“I have loved watching the show over the years and previously would have loved seeing the family get together but… Covid cases are increasing exponentially, fueled by gatherings like these, this could have been a great opportunity for them to set an example, and sadly they didn’t,” one person commented on Facebook.
“Hope you’re glad you hosted a super spreader party,” another wrote. “People like you think they are above everything. Please stay home when you get sick.”
Some pointed out that they— along with medical personnel and other responsible citizens— are missing out on their family gatherings this holiday season, due to COVID safety.
“Must be nice to have parties when our first responders haven’t seen their families for months due to them having to save lives,” another commented, while also calling the group “very selfish” for not wearing masks.
The family was also called out for hosting their holiday event indoors, with one person writing, “I truly hope you all don’t get sick.”
“ … Nothing says Christmas like exposing 30 people to Covid,” another snarked, while one critic sarcastically praised the family’s “commitment to social distancing.”
“I hope the state of Arkansas has enough ICU beds for y’all,” one person wrote.
“This is completely reckless and thoughtless,” another wrote.
One person pointed out that the very religious Duggar family was not acting very Christian by throwing a huge party in the midst of a pandemic.
“Doesn’t the Bible say to respect the laws and rules of the government?” they wrote. “You guys have no respect and love for others. What happened to JOY- Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last? Seems like you guys are putting yourself first but…”
Presumably absent from the Duggar holiday party were Jill and Derick Dillard, who have essentially been socially distancing from Jill’s family long before the pandemic hit.
Also absent from the party were Jinger and Jeremy Vuolo, who reside in Los Angeles. As The Ashley recently told you, the Vuolos are reportedly in talks to walk away from ‘Counting On.’
Despite many people taking precautions by limiting (or avoiding all together) family gatherings this holiday season, the Duggars do not appear to be making much of an effort to do the same. In addition to the massive Duggar Christmas shindig held last week, many of the Duggar girls also recently attended a wreath-making party. After Joy posted about the party to social media, they received plenty of angry social media comments. (Joy eventually deleted most of them.)
“Cute but really not the appropriate time to be throwing parties or posting about it to social media…” one person wrote.
“We are in a pandemic. This is not the time to take risks for silly reasons like making wreaths,” another commented.
On the bright side, at least the family refrained from forcing their friends and in-laws to cram into that little church to watch another performance of a Duggar Christmas Pageant this year.
(Photos: Facebook; TLC; YouTube; Instagram)