Cancelling Ultra Music Festival Was The Right Thing To Do

Humberto Mendez Prince/PantherNOW

Last week, Miami government officials canceled the Ultra Music Festival amid the COVID-19 virus outbreak. This is a good move, since the internationally recognized festival has been known to attract a substantial amount of people from around the world, making it a typical center for the disease to spread. 

As expected, fans who planned to attend the festival were disappointed to hear the news that the event was canceled thanks to a virus that only proves to be fatal among senior citizens. Because the median age for attendees ranges from 20 year-olds to people in their late 30’s, it’s fair to say that their frustrations are justified. The event’s organizers have also made it clear that they will not be offering refunds, which has resulted in even more anger from fans.

The cancellation of the event could also bring negative economic repercussions to the city of Miami. It’s been estimated that Ultra has brought almost a billion dollars in revenue since 2012. 

However, we must look at it from an objective point of view. So far, this virus has killed more than 5,000 people worldwide and currently there’s 29 times that same number of people infected. Although it hasn’t proven to be a pandemic like the Spanish flu that killed millions of people back at the beginning of the 20th century, the rapid spreading of this virus means it has the potential to become an uncontrollable pandemic with deadly results similar to the H1N1 pandemic that killed more than 250,000 people. 

Let’s remember that a big portion of those infected are spread between Italy—a country that has the oldest population in Europe—and China, which has a population of 1.4 billion people. This proves not only that the virus is deadly among older demographics, but also that it’s highly contagious among dense populations.

Considering the COVID-19 has already entered US soil and the fact that our state is ranked first in the oldest population ranking and third in the highest population index, it’s imperative that local authorities take necessary measures to prevent a virus of this nature to keep spreading. As of today, Florida has presented 45 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and two deaths.

This involves making decisions that will inevitably stir the public, such as canceling festivals during Miami Music Week and suspending international flights, which President Trump did on Wednesday, March 11th. It’s also why our own university switched from in-person classes to online classes for a minimum of three weeks.

What all of these environments have in common is the massive quantities of people concentrating in crowds which essentially makes them Petri dishes for diseases like the coronavirus to spread easily. Cancelling the festival as well as other public gatherings was the right thing to do, since it comes as a preventive measure. Otherwise, corona will continue to spread across the state and soon make itself at home here in Miami.

Featured image by Robert Giordano on Flickr.


The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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