As early as February, the threat of the novel coronavirus, which would be officially named COVID-19 eventually, put many large events and organizations to uncertainty. MWC 2020 in late February was canceled out of those concerns and things started downhill from there. Some organizers and individuals are still unsure whether to push through with plans or incur the costs of postponing or even canceling mass events. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC not only recommends that you do but also that you hold off until after 8 weeks.
The CDC loosely defines large gatherings as those that involve at least 50 people, with even larger gatherings amounting to more than 250 persons. It doesn’t matter whether the events are organized by groups, like conferences or sporting events, or by individuals like weddings. All of these fall under the latest guidance which amounts to putting it off for months.
Many organizers have not made any decision yet, waiting for how the virus will turn out in the coming weeks. Some wait until the last minute, believing that the situation will be resolved soon. Unfortunately, there are no signs of that happening just yet and the CDC doesn’t want people taking the chance and is recommending an 8-week period before resuming such mass activities.
It is definitely a long wait but “flattening the curve” has become the priority for many governments and health professionals and social distancing is seen as one of the key weapons that can be wielded against the virus. Such delays or cancellations might help lower the risks of spreading COVID-19 not just among participants but also among the organizers who have to prepare the event beforehand.
Of course, there will be costs involved, some of them quite substantial. The CDC’s recommendations are really only that. But if organizers and individuals insist on carrying out their schedule, it also has guidelines on how to best minimize the risk of contracting the virus.