As President Trump pushes to re-open the country, health experts warn the move will have dire consequences.
A New York Times-led panel of health experts say live events will be one of the last sectors to re-open. When asked if the economy must be restarted step-by-by step, Zeke Emanuel, a bioethicist, confirmed the plan.
Experts think work sites that allow physical distancing may be able to come online sooner. But concerts and other live events are off the table for the rest of 2020. “Larger gatherings – conferences, concert, sporting events – when people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility,” Emanuel says. “I think those things will be the last to return. Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest.”
Emmanuel says restaurants and bars may be able to open sooner with restrictions in place. These comments bring into question whether postponed events like Coachella are going to be outright canceled in 2020. Even Bonnaroo postponed its mid-July concert to September – but is that realistic? Experts don’t seem to think so.
Without more testing for COVID-19, entire sectors of the economy may have to remain closed. That includes live events, concerts, and any other large gatherings.
Emmanuel continues, “If in June we’re in the same place we are today – we can’t get testing, we can’t do contact tracing, we haven’t put that infrastructure in place – then you are not opening up in June.”
So many live events have postponed until ‘later this year’ with no specific dates. Those organizers may be forced to cancel their 2020 live events outright. Perhaps Justin Bieber had the right idea when he withdrew his entire 45-date Changes tour for 2020. Now, it looks like organizers and venue owners are facing a scary ‘wait and see’ approach that could be as long as 18 months.