Is anyone else starting to get a sinking feeling about 70k people showing up with this thing out there?
Is there any chance they will pull the plug between now and GenCon?
I really doubt it.
I plan on attending (unless I'm sick), not shaking hands/touching people, washing my hands frequently, not touching my face and maybe not eating food prepared by other people (we'll see what things look like then) - basically the normal things I do to not get con crud.
And then having an awesome time.
Gen Con is still half a year away, so there's nothing to be concerned with at the moment.
Honestly, in that time, the disease-spreading season (cold, flu, etc.) will be over; plus, we (probably) will have more information about it by the time we're approaching Con time.
Either, it is the ELE that the worst fear-mongers are making it out to be, or we know how to properly handle ourselves with this thing out there. Both options are something we can look at 3-4 months down the line and re-assess then.
On the plus side, if it means people shower, wash their hands, keep the restrooms sanitary, and clean up after themselves, that is one good thing.
I would be far more worried about norovirus.
We place the highest priority on the health and safety of our community, including attendees, exhibitors, partners, and staff so we are monitoring the situation with Covid-19 closely. At this time we are not planning any changes regarding Gen Con 2020.
Customer Service & Event Team Manager
Gen Con LLC
I caught the concrud last year, it was not fun. Stuff like this happens every year.
While covid 19 is a bad one there are always things being put about in conventions.
Everyone should do the basic things like hand washing on a regular basis, practice your own basic hygiene.
And as much as we all love Gen Con, if you are ill yourself respect others and either don't go or take what ever precautions you can.
I plan to take lots of hand sanitizer.
I may not shake hands this year but I will fist bump :)
I think Gen Con 2020 is at severe risk.
If you Google the closings, cancellations and bans on public gatherings going on around the world, it isn't exactly reassuring. Major companies like Facebook, Microsoft, IBM and AT&T are already pulling out of conventions in the US. Today, Switzerland banned all public gatherings over 1,000 people. There is talk of canceling the summer Olympics in Tokyo, and Japan has closed all schools.
The virus is popping up all over the world, and seems to be headed towards being given the "pandemic" classification by the World Health Organization. If that happens, governments at all levels will be under extreme pressure to take measures to stop the spread of the virus.
Hopefully things settle down and get under control, but be prepared for the worst. If, as we all hope, the Con goes on, it might be an abnormal one with people wearing face masks and reduced attendance. The most popular costume may be the hazmat suit.
Johns Hopkin's website tracking worldwide cases:
Most of those other events getting canceled were to take place in the next month or two. Gen Con is rather further out. While it's far too early to be making predictions, I see three primary ways this can play out:
1) The virus is contained and burns itself out within the next couple months
2) The virus isn't contained (which is to say the existing containment measures prove inadequate and it "breaks out" and probably burns itself out within the next couple months anyway, on account of it's fairly prodigious communicability.
3) The virus is contained enough to slow it's spread, but not enough to stop it, and it either breaks out months from now or keeps slowly creeping along and is in any case still a notable threat by ~May/Juneish and the powers that be decide to cancel out of an abundance of caution (which would be perfectly understandable)
What's going to really get people at Gen Con is that it's a con full of people who behave in ways that suppress their immune systems while at the con. Sleep deprivation and bad diet combined with hotel sheets and everyone touching everything as they browse the exhibit hall...that's a concern.
Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Cough/sneeze into your elbow. Don’t touch your face or it’s various holes..... and what else?
Wash your $&&/!?”!@&$ hands. With Soap.
This post brought to you by Plague Inc., 15 years of teaching primary school, and alarming statistics about the number of people who don’t do that after using the restroom.
Edited to add: Maybe we can make it a rule like the 5, 2, 1 rule.
Fearmongering isn't going to do the Convention -- or anyone else -- any good.
Coronavirus is a serious situation. The medical community (and the Convention, for that matter) can, should, and are monitoring the situation.
But let's put it in perspective. As of today, Corona has killed fewer than 3000 people worldwide. Zero of those in the US.
By comparison, the flu kills about 300,000 to 650,000 people each year. Around 50,000 of those in the US. No one suggested canceling Gen Con last year because of the flu.
It is not good to have another thing running around out there. But people are working on it and, despite not hearing much about them on the news, there are actually plenty of other things out there that put you at more risk.
This could turn out to be the greatest medical problem of the 21st Century. Or it could be one more problem that we live with, like SARS or the Swine Flu. In the meantime, scaring people about attending Gen Con is not the right thing to do.
The numbers you gave are not the only important perspective to put things in. The flu has a mortality rate, according to the CDC, of 0.05%. COVID-19 has a rate of 2.3%. In terms of transmission and infection rates, influenza has an R0 value of 1.3 (each infected person infects on average 1.3 additional people). COVID-19 has an R0 value of about 2. There also is not likely to be a vaccine until November or December at the earliest.
None of that is fear mongering, it's just facts. And important facts. People with compromised immune systems are going to have to make decisions they might not have to make if it were regarding influenza. I personally don't think it would make sense, given the current facts, to cancel Gencon. But it doesn't make sense to poo poo all talk of concern.
My 2 cents on this subject in general:
I feel the staff should have an info page on basic hygiene and communicatible diseases. Namely, it serves as a public service announcement. Contagious diseases are a common part of society in general. That is how we should be treating this coronavirus outbreak. This is a part of every day life. COVID-19 should not be getting any special treatment over the Flu.
My position on these diseases and mortality rates is that it is a general number that discards important information like the conditions around the people who die. I will tell you that the common people at highest risk of mortality of any disease are people who are malnurished.
If there is a page on hygiene and such as I have described, I am not finding it on the website.
If Gen Con is cancelled that means the situations has become concerning enough to get to that point. If Gen Con is cancelled going to be part of a whole bunch of things being cancelled (sporting events, comic conventions, concerts and basically anything with large groups of people). Personally, a refund would be the least of my concerns.
Geeze Kevin thanks for the insightful input.
Personally I think lack of information is breeding fear and uncertainty, more people are still dying from the good ol flu vs Capt Trips 2020 version
They canceled the Osaka Game Market and the Geneva Auto Show already. It's not like GC being axed is not a real possibility. I'm also pretty sure it's nothing they ever thought they would need a contingency plan for because it's not mentioned in the Gen Con LLC: Terms of Service 2020 edition.