While virtually every live performance all around the world the next few weeks has been canceled, in the hopes of social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus, last night, March 14, Mexico City's massive annual festival Vive Latino went on as planned.
Multiple artists pulled out of performing the festival, but Guns N' Roses played as planned, and even pulled out "So Fine" for the first time since 1993.
AP reports "at the entrance, the usual security checks for such events had a new filter: Each person entering was checked for fever and a strong smell of antibacterial gel permeated in the air."
Festival promoter Jordi Puig told Billboard "Authorities are telling us that we are in Phase 1 [of the coronavirus epidemic] and we can move forward and that's what we're doing."
Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum basically said the reason for the show going on as planned was because the economic impact of canceling it would be too great. "Vive Latino will take place this weekend and some other activities, that were planned, that don't have economic impact, those will be postponed," Sheinbaum said. "Why is Vive Latino continuing? Because we're still in Phase 1. So suspending mass events is not necessary. However, activities that have no impact, it's better to postpone those."
Mexico has 26 confirmed cases of the virus, with no deaths. In the US, over 3,000 cases have been confirmed, and the US is on a trajectory similar to Italy, where the virus spread is about two weeks ahead of us. Today, reports from Italy are of 3,497 new cases in 24 hours. That’s roughly a 20% increase in cases from the day before, with a total of 21,157 reported cases. The death toll in Italy is 175.
It is not yet clear how contagious coronavirus is, and if it can spread before signs of sickness appear. There are reports that even when a person is asymptomatic, they could still pass the disease to somebody with a low immune system. The whole point behind social distancing is to "flatten the curve" of the infections, to keep strain on local medical facilities low.