While the country has begun to reopen some business since the coronavirus pandemic shut down the economy, a New York Times survey of over 500 credited epidemiologists found that 64% of then would not feel comfortable attending a concert for at least another year, according to Brooklyn Vegan. Although the news is distressing, it is worth noting that adjustments to normal packed concert crowds in indoor arenas to limited seating and outdoor capacity would decrease the risk of spreading the virus significantly.
The survey found that while some activities, like getting haircuts, going to the doctor for non-urgent appointments and going on an overnight trip within driving distance, would be feasible activities for this summer, concerts, along with sporting events, church and weddings, do not seem to be safe activities for at least a year.
“These are some of the highest-risk activities and probably attract more risk-embracing people,” Vivian Towe of Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute noted about going to concerts and other big venue events. “The addition of alcohol or drugs makes these activities too risky for me to consider anytime soon.” Steve Mooney of University of Washington stated, “This is as much about feelings of social responsibility as about personal infection risk. Large-scale gatherings are a contact tracing nightmare and seem like they should be shut down until we have a really good sense of what’s safe/how to screen people.”
The epidemiologists noted that activities that occur outside and within small groups are the safest things to do, and they anticipate that masks will be needed for quite some time. While that may restrict fans from seeing their favorite artists in pack venues and arenas, perhaps artists can adjust to play more intimate, outdoor settings in order to make a return to live music. The music industry has also considered other options such as drive in concerts as we wait for concerts to return in full capacity.
Photo Credit: Gary Moratz