By Jeniel Lamb
COVID-19 has changed the norm for all of us and I know a number of persons are disassociating themselves from the virus, from the surrounding news and from the topic overall, but in light of the pandemic and the obvious restrictions we are experiencing, many major local events and event weekends are being postponed until 2021.
Operators of these major events such as WeVacae and Jamaican carnival have made public service announcements to explain the postponement of these events and the terms and conditions that will apply given the postponements.
It is a remarkable idea that the virus will be gone by 2021. However, that idea seems far-fetched – especially given the information we have gotten from medical practitioners. They say that this pandemic could last another two to three years which means even the best case scenario at this point would not facilitate postponing an event while we are still fighting the virus.
It is very understandable that many persons who have invested in these parties or who use these events to make a living, would need to be more optimistic in regards to the virus. However, people should be reasonable and understanding. This virus might just last longer than many are expecting. It’s a hard pill to swallow.
That would mean the only feasible plan moving forward would be to cancel said events and event weekends because there is no sure date for when this pandemic will be over or when the virus will be brought under control.
Some other events have been cancelled indefinitely. This is a more reasonable response, given the pandemic. It’s not fair to keep patrons’ hopes up when the odds are against the desired outcome!
There is also the issue of the terms and conditions that most of these event planners are explaining to the public and to their paying audience. One such term is the no-refund policy that many event planners are employing at this time. Persons who have paid exorbitant amounts of money for tickets and/or costumes are being told that they will not receive refunds for these events that might not actually be held. I say this because no vaccine or treatment has been fully developed to combat this virus.
It can be seen as unfair to the persons who have already paid to attend these events, because many persons are seeing the financial effects of this pandemic and it would be very helpful, I am sure, for persons to receive the funds they would have spent.
That being said, many of these events have been employing no-refund policies for some time and patrons were aware prior to purchasing tickets and/or costumes for these events. There is also the issue of event planners and costume designers having already spent portions of this revenue that they cannot get back- leaving everyone in a place of loss.
It is commendable that event planners are trying to be optimistic about the future and as such, are reluctant to cancel their events. This outlook, though, might become a double-edged sword.
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