Healthcare Expert Says Concerts Won’t Return Until “Fall 2021 at the Earliest”
This much most people agree upon: reopening our economy in the short-term would have disastrous consequences. It is imperative we keep our businesses shuttered as the worst effects of the coronavirus take their toll on human lives across the globe.
But in a recent feature in The New York Times, a panel of experts discussed when and how we should start thinking about ramping up the economy, and the trade-offs that will emerge as that happens: how can we continue to do everything we can to save lives while also making sure people can get back to work to provide for themselves and their families? When will schools reopen? When will mass public gatherings like sporting events and, to our point, concerts, become a part of life again?
One of the panelists, the bioethicist Zeke Emanuel, is vice provost for global initiatives and director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, host of a new podcast about coronavirus, “Making the Call,” and author of the forthcoming book Which Country Has the World’s Best Health Care? Emanuel has a plan for how to gradually reopen the economy that keeps public health at the forefront, and believes that if certain protocols are followed and testing can be rapidly expanded, the current restrictions can begin to be eased in June. The panel discussed what would happen after that.
Here is what Emanuel had to say about when he thinks people will be allowed to attend concerts and sporting events, as well as gathering in lower density places like restaurants (emphasis added by MetalSucks):
“Restarting the economy has to be done in stages, and it does have to start with more physical distancing at a work site that allows people who are at lower risk to come back. Certain kinds of construction, or manufacturing or offices, in which you can maintain six-foot distances are more reasonable to start sooner. Larger gatherings — conferences, concerts, 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. I think those things will be the last to return. Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest.
“Restaurants where you can space tables out, maybe sooner. In Hong Kong, Singapore and other places, we’re seeing resurgences when they open up and allow more activity. It’s going to be this roller coaster, up and down. The question is: When it goes up, can we do better testing and contact tracing so that we can focus on particular people and isolate them and not have to reimpose shelter-in-place for everyone as we did before?”
Emanuel’s opinion echoes that of metal booking agent Daniel DeFonce, who expressed this week that he doesn’t see touring full-scale returning before 2021.
As sad as it is to consider, unfortunately we have to consider the possibility that Emanuel is correct, which would mean many of the tours we’ve seen being rescheduled for the coming fall will not happen. We would very much like it if Emanuel were wrong, but we’re just going to have to wait and see what happens.