BOSTON - It seems like the coronavirus is all anyone is talking about at the moment and the growing fears surrounding it has led to massive shifts in daily ways of life. Overseas, countries like China and Italy have been subject to quarantines, which is obviously the most extreme result of coronavirus concerns and precautions. But the ramifications are beginning to find their way over to the United States.
A number of events have been canceled in the U.S. and a number of institutions have shuttered their doors to prevent the spread of the virus. Just yesterday, Harvard University and Amherst College were two of the biggest academic names to announce that they would be closing their campuses after Spring Break. Essentially, a "digital campus" will serve in place of the standard scholastic procedures. They are not expected to be alone in these decisions.
It was announced by Mayor Marty Walsh that the Boston Marathon, held in April, would not yet be canceled, but the situation is being monitored. One Boston tradition that did not survive the cancellation cuts, however, is the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade on South Boston Street, as shared by the Boston Herald. A Boston tradition, the St. Patrick's Day Parade was a way of celebrating the Irish culture of the city and it has always been one of the preeminent holidays for local vendors and taverns.
In the statement announcing the parade's cancellation, Mayor Walsh stated, "While the risk in Boston remains low, this situation is changing very quickly and we are closely monitoring any local cases. Our top priority is preventing any new cases, to the best of our ability, and we are paying close attention to guidance from public health officials. We encourage all residents to follow preventive measures to avoid illness, such as washing hands and staying home if you are feeling sick, and we will continue to make public any information as this situation develops in Boston."
This might seem like a premature decision to some, but the event was imminent and it is better to err on the side of caution than to hold a parade that is certainly frivolous in the face of such genuine concerns. Canceling events like these can help stop the spread of the virus and the surrounding panic. It might not seem like a necessary decision, but it is a necessary precaution.
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