As millions of people around the world remain in lockdown amid strict coronavirus social distancing regulations, a large proportion of artists have started taking their live shows online with a series of intimate home concerts as a temporary means of entertainment relief. However, it appears that the limited period of time could be hanging around for longer than first thought.
A new study conducted by the New York Times has examined the current coronavirus crisis and, at times, touched on the potential length of the quarantine measures. One expert, offering his take on the immediate future, claimed that the realistic return of concerts won’t enter the discussions until “fall 2021 at the earliest.”
The ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease was first officially identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei in China. As of April 12th, more than 1,889,987 cases of COVID-19 have been officially confirmed but the actual number is thought to be much higher due to substantial under-reporting of cases.
With more than 117,652 people having died from the virus, COVID-19 has now spread into more than 180 other countries—including mainland Europe, South America and many more. Given the exponential growth in cases in countries like Italy, Spain, Germany, France and the UK, the WHO stated that Europe became the epicentre of the pandemic after the strict lockdown in China saw reduced numbers. Now, however, as the virus continues to spread aggressively across The United States—who have more confirmed cases than any other country—the epicentre of coronavirus is expected to be officially changed to North America.
Zeke Emanuel, an oncologist and bioethicist of the Center For American Progress, has claimed that a return to live concerts as we know them are a long way away from returning: “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,” he said as part of a large feature in the New York Times. “Certain kinds of construction, or manufacturing or offices, in which you can maintain six-foot distances are more reasonable to start sooner.”
He continued: “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.”