Millions of dollars will be lost on St Patrick's day as revelers avoid restaurants and bars. The St Patrick's Day celebrations in New York City and Chicago are the best known and most celebrated in the United States. Now both have fallen victim to the current Coronavirus crisis.
Both events usually attract millions of people to the streets and the Irish pubs, have now been canceled leading to the loss of millions of dollars in revenue. New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke to the media about the decision to close the parade which takes place on 5th Avenue every year.
After several hard conversations both the Governor and the parade organizers decided that because of the high-density crowds, and the high number of marchers and spectators, the safest and most responsible course of action was to cancel the event.
Lori Lightfoot, the Mayor of Chicago also reported that they had held similar discussions and had reached the same conclusion, and had canceled their annual celebrations. Again, this represents losses of millions of dollars to businesses in the City with the hardest hit being the Irish pubs.
One of the most popular, Fado Irish Pub, has said that they expect losses in the six-figure region as a result of the cancellation.
Other parades and celebrations have been canceled too; Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas and San Francisco have all announced that the St Patrick's Day events will not go ahead. In Dublin – Ohio, and Ireland – no parades will be going ahead this year.
These announcements have come as a result of the global climb in Coronavirus infections and deaths. In the US the total number of people with the virus has increased to over 1,000 with more than 119,000 infected globally and around 4,200 deaths.
The day before Mayor Lightfoot announced the cancellation of Chicago's parade the number of cases in the State of Illinois had risen to 19, an increase of 8 cases.
The Mayor's office has said that they hope to reschedule the parade but for many of the businesses this will be too late to avoid the huge financial impact of the cancellations.
Dallas’ St. Patrick’s Day Parade is canceled. pic.twitter.com/MdfQ4EClOG— Allison Harris (@AllisonFox4News) March 11, 2020
Unlike a conference or other event St Patrick's Day is a set point in time so moving it isn't something that will be easy to pull off. However, there is a widespread recognition that canceling such large gatherings is essential if the spread of Coronavirus is to be slowed.
According to WHO (World Health Organization), most people infected with Covid-19 will recover within 14 days. However, those with underlying health conditions and/or a severe form of the virus can take up to six weeks to return to full health.