Disease Outbreak Impacts on the Industry

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Iveth Vanegas, Reporter

On Jan. 20,, “COVID-19” reached the United States. Since then, nearly 400,000 cases have been reported altogether by all states in the U.S. Due to the growing numbers of coronavirus cases, many events have been canceled or postponed until further notice. 

Events, from concerts, conventions, to festivals have been postponed as late as the end of the year. For example, the Fan Expo, an annual convention held in Dallas, was originally set to occur on March 27-29, but has been pushed to July 19-21. The Fan Expo Dallas is a three-day speculative fiction fan convention that includes appearances from cast members of the Lord of the Rings, Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Trek and much more. 

“It is the largest comics, sci-fi horror, anime and gaming event in Texas” Osmin Vanegas, 24,  said. 

Rescheduling an event that many well-known celebrities were meant to attend has changed the lineup of people who were meant to attend. According to Fan Expo Dallas, 16 have confirmed their appearance for July, 25 are still pending, and 10 have cancelled. There are many other people besides the celebrities who will be affected by the rescheduling. 

“It will affect the salaries of any vendors, celebrities, associates, and developers involved,” Vanegas said. 

An article by The Verge, an American technology-news online magazine, states that during the 1918 influenza pandemic, fewer people died in cities that closed churches, schools and canceled events early on. 

“Compared to previous historic outbreaks, this virus is definitely a lot more serious. Initially, I didn’t think much of it. I thought it would pass like other ones we’ve had in the past, but the more it progresses, the more my concern grows.” Stephenie Puente said. 

According to CNBC, the CDC has recommended canceling events with 50 or more people for the next eight weeks throughout the United States to protect vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, and contain the fast-moving pandemic. 

“It is logical to postpone events during these times because this virus is spreading extremely fast within only a month,” Puente said.

ScienceAlert, a scientific news website, records the mortality rate of the coronavirus to be around 3.5 percent of confirmed cases which is significantly larger than the seasonal flu’s rate of 0.1 percent. They alert the public that COVID-19 is not just a regular flu, it is much more dangerous.      

“Events should be moved because we are currently going through a never before experienced event that is dangerous to all of humanity,” Vanegas said. “If it is not treated seriously, the results could be devastating.”