Should Governments Allow Mass Events

 Should Governments Allow Mass Events

In many countries where vaccination has advanced rapidly, governments have again allowed mass events. We have already been able to enjoy concerts, festivals, and sporting events with large numbers of people. These decisions have been highly questioned when until just a few months ago, these crowds were unthinkable. Many suggest that the authorities have rushed to allow these events just to please the population. In addition, concern has increased when images of thousands of people in a place without masks have been scattered. The question remains: Are we ready for the crowded events?

In some countries the answer is simpler: they are not. Mainly because the vaccination rate has been slow. We can see this in Latin American countries. However, next year big and famous festivals are already scheduled in countries like Argentina, Chile, and Colombia. So it’s only a matter of time before these events return. What is the case of countries with the highest percentage of the vaccinated population? We can see the examples of the United States and the United Kingdom.

Whether you feel or not that you are ready to be surrounded by a crowd again, the truth is that many didn’t hesitate to return to festivals and stadiums. Since the CDC allowed open-space exhibitions, concerts and sporting events have not been long in coming. Although many disagree with that decision, there is already enough data to conclude whether governments did the right thing.

Going to a concert could be as safe as going grocery shopping

In the UK, the NHS has studied more than 30 massive events that have taken place and followed the outcomes that these have left. These events took place within 4 months and had a series of security measures for COVID-19. Some of these housed a few thousand and others up to hundreds of thousands of attendants. From concerts to sports competitions, all in open spaces.

These are some of the most notable results:

The British Grand Prix received more than 350,000 people over 3 days, being the most attended event in the UK since the beginning of the pandemic.

There were 585 cases of COVID-19 related to the Grand Prix, of which only 242 cases are estimated to have been infected at the event and 343 were already infected when they attended.

The Wimbledon Championship offered tennis fans 2 weeks of world-class excitement and matches. More than 300,000 people attended, and 881 cases related to this championship were reported.

299 of those are estimated to have previously been infected and 582 people got the virus in the event.

In these two examples and the many others, a contagion rate of between 0.31% and 1.57% of the attendants can be seen. By looking back at the scale of these events and the results, the authorities say they are controllable and very encouraging figures.

Governments claim they are safe, but we must be cautious

The data seems to indicate that it is possible to resume these cultural and sporting events without putting communities at risk. How is that possible?

The authorities assure that this is only possible thanks to security measures and vaccination. By requiring proof of vaccination from attendants or a negative COVID-19 test, it’s possible to offer safe massive events to the attendants. The percentages of infection are considerably low and to date, there have been no critical cases or significant outbreaks in the communities where these events take place.

Governments assure that with time and the number of vaccinations on the rise, these cultural and sporting acts will only become more common. And the members of the communities can rest easy and attend these without taking risks.

However, authorities are stressing safety regulations, and citizens are still encouraged to get vaccinated and take precautions where possible.

Events are more than a privilege, they have become a necessity

Many people suffered from the effects of confinement on mental health for several months. They were not only talking about a pandemic of a biological virus, but also a pandemic of mental illness. People with a history of anxiety and depression had very challenging months. And people who had never shown symptoms saw their mental health compromised.

While it is normal to feel insecure about going back to large crowds, it may be necessary for health. Little by little, we’ll return to normal life with activities that were taken from us for so long.

Some health institution officials affirm that concerts, exhibitions, and sports are more necessary than ever. And now that we know that it is possible to do them without putting anyone at risk, it is time to enjoy these events as much as possible.

So, if you have the opportunity to attend one of these events, you are vaccinated and the regulations are met, give it a go. If you still think you’re not ready, it also makes sense.

The virus is not completely gone, and we still need to be careful about it. Little by little we will recover the things that the pandemic took from us.

 

 

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