The number of infected people by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) all throughout the world already breached the one million mark. Sadly, it is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, Singapore and Japan, which believed they already controlled the virus, have recorded relapsing and new cases, prompting further lockdowns.
The coronavirus is spreading like wildfire across the world, and its scale is unprecedented. As a result, economies have shut down, and almost all activities are suspended. As a result, some anime conventions–some of which have been scheduled long before the first case was reported in Wuhan, China late last year–have been suspended or canceled.
Unfortunately, the anime convention season, which is typically held from March to April, has been widely affected by the coronavirus. While disappointing, suspending some of these events is the correct decision. Everybody needs to help flatten the curve.
Here are some of the huge anime events that have become collateral damage of the coronavirus:
Naka-Kon — The anime convention is originally scheduled in Kansas, in the Overland Park Convention Center. The main ambition of the event is to bring Japanese culture to the midwest, through cosplay, manga, and anime. Naka-Kon is relatively new, starting in Kansas in 2005 and was meant to be a one-time event. However, the popularity and demand forced organizers to make it a yearly tradition. Prior to the cancelation, organizers had expected some 10,000 participants.
MomoCon 2020 — Momocon is one of the largest conventions dedicated to gaming, comics, and anime. Originally scheduled on May 21-24 in Atlanta, Georgia, the organizer, Momocon LLC, had to cancel the event due to the coronavirus. When the pandemic hit the US shores, the organizer had announced that it was looking at postponing it to a later date. However, the Momocon was canceled altogether. In 2019, the event drew 39,000 people.
Anime Boston — The organizer of the convention has written off 2020 and instead encouraged those who already pre-registered to wait for more announcements for Anime Boston 2021. The event was expected to gather more than 250 participants in Massachusetts prior to the cancelation of the event.
AnimeJapan 2020 — Originally scheduled from March 21 to 24, the event was eventually canceled due to the coronavirus. From March 6 to 31, the organizer has refunded all the tickets for the event, which means that the likelihood of it being postponed to a later date this year would be zero.
The good news is that the Anime Expo set on July 2-5 seems to be on pace. The organizers have announced that for now, there are no changes to the original schedule amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, the organizers are making sure that everybody will adopt best practices, including proper washing of hands, wearing face masks, and social distancing for the safety of the participants.
With that said, the organizers are not discounting the possibility that they might have to cancel the Anime Expo in July if ever there are no positive developments on the horizon. If the United States fails to flatten the curve and the number of coronavirus cases continues to go up, then they have no choice but to abandon their plans.