Opinion: Possible scenarios for bringing concerts back, post-Covid-19

Posted on: May 5, 2020

“At the peak of cold and flu season—which overlaps with the opera and symphony season—it’s typical to hear coughs, sniffles, and sneezes during performances,” writes Lawrence Perelman in Thursday’s (4/30) City Journal, published by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. “Post-Covid-19, will ushers escort culprits from the hall for endangering the maestro, orchestra, and audience? … The past could be a prelude here. In 1918, the Spanish flu caused many performing-arts institutions to shutter nationwide [and] killed … at least 675,000 people across America.… Since audiences make up the majority of people at any performance, keeping ill spectators away will serve as the next great battle.… It’s plausible that venues will arm employees with forehead thermometers to ensure a fever-free audience…. The performing arts can’t afford months of inactivity…. The cumulative impact on New York’s performing-arts sector could reach the hundreds of millions of dollars—after just one economic quarter…. Public safety is paramount to getting life going again. To that end, we should be hopeful that after the pandemic, audience members who feel ill will self-isolate. A consequence of this challenging period could be a safer, quieter, and more enjoyable theater experience for all.”