Streets, schools, and places of worship have turned into ghost towns. Airlines are flying “ghost flights” transporting empty seats, while would-be passengers stay at home to have a pint and wait for the whole thing to blow over. So much for next week’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, and pretty much: Nearly everything else.
Countries across Asia set the stage for what is quickly turning into an era-defining world event, with hundreds of millions of people glued to their screens, eagerly following the news from the safety of their own homes as the virus rages on outside.
Now, the Western world is following suit, shutting down anything that involves being face-to-face in large numbers — and that means, for the foreseeable future at least, people will have to entertain themselves at home streaming Netflix while shows, concerts, conventions, and sporting events are getting axed on a day-to-day basis.
– The latest victim of the mass quarantine sweeping the world is Broadway. New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that all gatherings of more than 500 people are banned. And that means as of 5pm Eastern time, Broadway will go dark.
– The Met, the Metropolitan Opera and others will have to follow suit.
– Berlin culture minister Klaus Lederer also announced that public libraries and all theatre, concert and opera halls will be closed until mid-April.
– Pearl Jam and Avril Lavigne, and Miley Cyrus postponed their upcoming tours.
– Major music and arts festivals have been postponed as well. Coachella was pushed back to October from April. Stagecoach, a major country music festival was also moved to October. South by South West was also cancelled last week by City of Austin officials.
Even the 2020 presidential election has taken a major hit with both presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden cancelling events.
READ MORE: New York Will Restrict Most Gatherings of More Than 500 People[The New York Times]
More on the pandemic: Trump Addresses U.S. on Coronavirus Europe Restrictions and Stimulus