With the slightly bizarre and unexpected news that the much-hyped Bond flick No Time to Die has had its premiere (and subsequent release date) pushed back to November to compensate for the Covid-19. The events industry is starting to see plans cancelled left right and centre.

But is there any need?

Google has cancelled their annual developer’s event in California. Another in a string of postponements and cancellations to hit the tech world. The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco has already been called off. While social media giant Facebook also cancelled part of its own developer conference.

The Arnold Sports Expo, a global health and fitness convention headed by bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger just announced it will no longer allow spectators to attend. Meaning up to 250,000 will miss out, despite the competitive events still going ahead. However, as there hasn’t been a single confirmed case of the Covid-19 anywhere near the festivals home of Ohio, does this seem like a case of overkill?

Close up image of what Coronavirus looks like
It is not the fear of the virus but the fear of the overreaction by the masses.

A sports festival refunding its attendance or a film date being pushed back may not seem like a global catastrophe. But, considering the Influenza virus (the flu) had 13 million (yes that’s million) cases between 2019-2020 and the entire world didn’t shut down and go into crisis mode, are the media overselling Covid-19? Martin Fullard of Conference News spoke to the BBC reaffirming the integrity of the events industry. Urging people to only listen to the World Health Organisation rather than cancelling events and starting a panic.

To help follow the outbreak, The John Hopkins Centre for Systems Science and Engineering, built a global interactive map to show and track the spread of the Coronavirus. Of the 126,443 confirmed cases at the time of writing, a whopping 68,300 people have recovered, an almost 60% recovery rate, with a mortality rate of just 3%. Click here to access the map.

Global Map of Coronavirus outbreak from CSSE map. View of countries affected amid covid-19 outbreak
The current affected areas according to the CSSE map

Is there anything we can do to avoid the spread of Covid-19?

According to health advice from the UK Government, the best advice to protect against Covid-19 is to avoid direct contact with people who appear to be sick. Make sure your hands are thoroughly washed and cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.

We’d hope that this advice is taken day to day regardless of a viral outbreak. It is alarming that before the outbreak, these methods weren’t being implemented.

With good hygiene and awareness, we see no reason why events should cancel. Our industry is equipped with resources that ensure clean environments. We should be utilising these instead of feeding the media frenzy surrounding Covid-19. By cancelling events are we not just adding to a mounting fear of something that for a large proportion of the population is nothing more than a mild illness.

Hygiene Event Solutions

US brand Better Air claim their probiotic purifier can reduce pathogens similar to the Coronavirus within hours. Could devices like this at events be the answer?

New studies indicate that coronavirus types can survive on surfaces and objects for up to 9 days. When the viruses land on a surface and/or object that are later touched, it can then infect a person even if the contact occurs days after the initial virus exposure on the surface.  Betterair’s Enviro-Biotics® eliminates the threat of pathogens (harmful viruses, bacteria and fungi) and allergens from surfaces and objects.”

Better Air as a solution to improving air quality and decreasing pathogens similar to Coronavirus
Better Air decreases pathogens and improves air quality

Correctly educated cleaning teams, plenty of antibacterial hand gel on-site and several of these devices could stop your event turning into a breeding ground for germs.

The flu has had an estimated 130 times more confirmed cases. It doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of evidence to back up the fear-mongering, panic buying and wave of cancellations that Covid-19 has triggered across the globe.

For more information on how we are dealing with Covid-19 take a look at our dedicated page for Clients and Suppliers and our Blog and press page.

What are your thoughts? Are antibacterial hand gel and good hygiene practices enough to stop the spread or are the media right?

Let us know.

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