Coronavirus expert says we won’t have concerts until ‘fall 2021 at the earliest’

Better get used to virtual concerts

Here’s some discouraging news on the concert front. Large gatherings such as concerts, conferences, and sporting events will not be safe will not be safe to return until the fall of 2021, according to Zeke Emmanuel, director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.

Emmanuel participated in an expert panel assembled by the New York Times, examining how to approach life after the COVID-19 pandemic. Emmanuel’s gloomy outlook on large-scale gatherings is rooted in the threat of second and third waves of the virus. “You can’t just flip a switch and open the whole of society up,” Emmanuel says. “It’s just not going to work. It’s too much. The virus will definitely flare back to the worst levels.”

“It does have to start with more physical distancing at a work site that allows people who are at lower risk to come back,” Emmanuel said.

“Certain kinds of construction, or manufacturing or offices, in which you can maintain six-foot distances are more reasonable to start sooner. Larger gatherings — conferences, concerts, sporting events — when people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility. I think those things will be the last to return. Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest.”

It’s not the news we want to hear, but it is the news we need to hear as we continue to navigate life during the pandemic.