covid19 gatherings
Party people at Glastonbury 2019 in South West England; there will be no repeat this year. Source: Oli Scarff/AFP

When was the last time you had to cancel so many big plans at once? All COVID-19 gatherings are now potential sources of infections, even more so for events that draw big crowds, as social distancing — staying at least six feet away from other people to lessen chances of catching the virus — would be almost possible.

My Chemical Romance called off their highly-anticipated return to Australia and Asia. Coachella and Glastonbury are cancelled. All major sporting tournaments have been affected, to the disappointment of every Liverpool fan.

Surprisingly, some shows are going on. Stereophonics played to tens of thousands in Manchester and Cardiff, causing many to ask: Are COVID-19 gatherings actually not cancelled?

Further, a Student Hut flash survey showed that 70 percent of students still plan on going to friend gatherings, and 48 percent still wanted to go to festivals they had planned. Over 50 percent wanted to follow through on holiday plans.

covid19 gatherings

Vanessa Hudgens (centre) came under fire for complaining about the cancellation of music festivals due to COVID-19. She quickly apologised and will not be pictured sitting this close to friends in the coming weeks. Source: Vivien Killilea/ Getty Images North America/AFP

Being you, you may consider yourself safe from this virus. However, according to World Health Organisation expert Bruce Aylward, he witnessed many young adults “decades younger than the groups deemed most at risk” suffering and dying during his mission to China.

Additionally, health authorities have also warned that even if a young person exhibits mild or no symptoms, they risk spreading the virus to vulnerable individuals.

A twenty-something may barely feel the symptoms of COVID-19. But a father with high blood pressure or a grandmother with lung disease would have a larger, potentially-fatal reaction to the virus. Remember: if you go to a large public gathering, you risk exposing the loved ones you live with to COVID-19.

covid19 gatherings

Bid group boba sessions goodbye for now – we’re even social distancing at the counter. Source: Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP

COVID-19 gatherings axed — what happens to my festival & concert tickets?

This is a valid question that many organisers already have the answer to.

According to the BBC, Viagogo and Uefa will refund customers for concerts and the EURO 2020 events, the latter being postponed to next year. Some organisations, like the British Film Institute, are even offering ticket holders the option of donating their refund money to charity.

At press time, Australia has limited indoor gatherings to fewer than 100 people, and outdoor fewer than 500. The New Zealand government has changed its limit from 500 to 100 in under a week. In the US, President Trump suggested that gatherings be kept to a maximum of 10 participants.

So respond “Not going” to all the lockdown parties, refund your Coachella tickets, and stay at home. This issue is greater than any individual; it’s our collective responsibility to #FlattenTheCurve.

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