With the outbreak of the coronavirus around the world, there is a growing concern about the safety of large public gatherings, including fan conventions where hundreds and hundreds of people are packed into exhibition centers to trade their wares, meet their heroes, and attend panels about all aspects of the industry. The question is, how safe will these conventions be now that the coronavirus has hit the United States?
For a lot of companies, it does not seem worth the risk. The first convention to feel the pressure is Seattle’s Emerald City Comic Con which is scheduled for March 12-15, where a number of companies and talent are no longer going to attend, which makes sense considering the impact Coronavirus has already had on Washington State. In New York, Warner Bros has cancelled the premiere for its new DC Animated Film ‘Superman: Red Son’ which was set for March 16.
In the midst of all this, on Tuesday, a DC spokesperson gave a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on the issue saying:
“As the health and safety of our employees are always our primary concerns, DC staffers will not be attending conventions during the month of March. Future convention attendance will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, factoring in the latest information from a variety of organizations, including the CDC, WHO, U.S. State Department and local health agencies.”
Of course, Marvel had been pulling back from a number of conventions even before the coronavirus hit, including Emerald City Comic Con, so they have yet to release any statement on the matter. However, it is only a matter of time until we get more statements from other companies, especially with WonderCon coming up on April 10-12 in Anaheim, California, an event that may also be impacted by the Covid-19 virus.
For anyone who still plans on attending these conventions regardless of the virus, make sure to follow any safety instructions provided by the even staff, wash your hands often, and wherever possible, avoid contact with other attendees.