As the 2019-2020 coronavirus outbreak sweeps the globe, events of all types are being suspended or cancelled one by one. Major venues, sports leagues, schools, airlines and many other industries are now heeding the word of medical experts and public officials everywhere, in an attempt to curb public gatherings that would spread COVID-19 even more rapidly. Naturally, the internet has responded to news of their favorite events being cancelled with dismay, despair and lots of memes. Here are a few choice highlights from online reactions to some of the biggest cancellations thus far.
On March 11th, an official announcement from the ESA was posted to their website under the news section confirming the rumors were indeed true, and that E3 2020 was officially cancelled amid growing concerns over the COVID-19 virus.
TwitchCon’s Amsterdam event was set for May 2nd and 3rd this year, but as of March 6th, representatives from the company officially cancelled it after weighing the potential health risks to the community.
Parades for St. Patrick’s day have been seeing increased cancellation or postponement in a number of countries and cities. Ireland’s government cancelled every parade across the nation, and Boston, NYC, Denver, Seattle and many more following warnings from health experts about avoiding large crowds.
Despite attempts from festival organizers to continue moving forward amid petitions and public outcry, Austin’s Mayor Steve Adler cancelled the festival on March 6th, marking the first shutdown of SXSW since it began 33 years ago.
On March 10th, Coachella and Stagecoach organizers decided to officially postpone the iconic music festivals just days after SXSW’s announcement. According to the press release, the County of Riverside and local health officials directed the rescheduling due to COVID-19 concerns stating, “We urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials.”
While not officially cancelled, organizers of UMF announced the three-day music fest would be suspended until 2021 after facing pressure from local government officials. Enraging many would-be attendees, they also stated that there would be no refunds for ticket holders. Instead, those who already purchased tickets will be allowed to attend the 2021 or 2022 event.
NCAA Basketball was among the first to announce major cancellations in the sports world. On March 3rd, Chicago State University cancelled two games due to coronavirus concerns, and the following days saw more schools and divisions following suit.
The NBA decided on March 11th to indefinitely suspend its season following news that two Utah Jazz players had tested positive for the virus, which resulted in seven teams quarantining players.
Just as the 2020 MLS season was getting underway, officials announced that the league would suspend the season for at least a month. The news release on March 12th read, “At the appropriate time, the league and clubs will communicate plans for the continuation of the 2020 season and update the status of league events.”
As of March 12th, the NHL has also suspended its season “until further notice” in response to the pandemic. Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement that afternoon, “It now seems more likely that some member of the NHL community would test positive at some point. It is no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this time.”
Following in the footsteps of the other American sports leagues, the MLB announced on March 12th that they would also be placing their season on an indefinite hold. The press release here was also somewhat vague, stating “MLB will announce the effects on the schedule at an appropriate time and will remain flexible as events warrant, with the hope of resuming normal operations as soon as possible.”
In recent weeks, grade schools around the world have begun slowly shutting down in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of students. Colleges and universities have done the same, with all of these either postponing classes or shifting to online platforms.
For the first time since 9/11, Disney announced on March 12th that not only would its locations in Asia shut down, but all parks, resorts and cruises worldwide are set to close the weekend of March 14-15th. Despite the closure, Disney said it will continue to pay employees and even refund tickets.