The epidemic that is the Coronavirus has already claimed many lives. The current death toll stands at 4,729 with 128,973 cases confirmed globally and rising. The global catastrophe has also caused many technology and auto-centric events to be cancelled and understandably so.
Mobile World Congress 2020
After a large number of major exhibitors withdrew from this year’s edition of the MWC, GSMA announced the cancellation of the event on February 13. The event was scheduled for February 24 – 27.
Game Developer’s Conference
Like the MWC, almost all major companies withdrew citing health and safety reasons. The list included big names such as Sony, Facebook, Epic Games, Amazon, Unity, EA, Blizzard, Microsoft and Activision. The organisers have said that they would attempt to reschedule the event “later this summer.”
Google I/O 2020
The biggest event on Google’s calendar now stands cancelled. The company has announced that it would be showcasing what’s new online and has cancelled all in-person events.
The F8 developer’s conference is off the calendar, so is the global marketing summit the social giant hosts each year. Facebook has instead decided to hold a few local events in its place and moved everything else to be announced online.
So far, Microsoft has announced the cancellations of two events, the WSLConf in March and the MVP Global Summit which was also scheduled for March. Both of these will now be hosted online.
Nvidia has moved its GTC-GPU technology conference online which was originally scheduled to be held on March 22 to 26.
Miami’s Ultra Music Festival
The massive music festival that hosts many top artists has also been cancelled in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak. This is also the first time in 21 years that the music festival will not be held.
James Bond’s latest has been pushed to November
Even suave 007 couldn’t escape this one. The latest film in the Bond franchise, “No Time To Die” has been pushed to November due to the outbreak.
Chinese Grand Prix 2020
With the WHO declaring Coronavirus a national health emergency, the Chinese authorities have cancelled the major racing event owing to the outbreak.
Tomorrowland’s Winter edition which started in 2019 and was due for a second party at the alps this year, now also stands cancelled. The official statement reads, “Today, it is with a heavy heart that we have to inform you that the French Government has decided to cancel this year’s edition (March 14 -21). Since Saturday we were in close contact with the French Government about the impact of the COVID-19 virus (coronavirus) and we finally received their official decision.”
The annual tech, music and film festival has also been cancelled. This will be the first time in the festival’s 35-year history that the event will not be going forward.
The biggest gaming event now stands cancelled. As per Ars Technica, this is the first time that the event won’t be in the spotlight since 1996.
Coachella Music Festival postponed to October
One of the world’s biggest music festivals was due to kick-off next month in California with acts like Rage Against the Machine and Frank Ocean confirmed as headliners.
Australian GP on the chopping block?
McLaren has confirmed that they are withdrawing from the season-opening race in Melbourne after a team member tested positive for the virus. F1 managing director Ross Brawn has also stated that there will be no race without all the teams.
Spain’s premier footballing event has been suspended. This happened after one of the player’s from Real Madrid’s basketball team tested positive. Both teams share the same facilities, Real Madrid as a collective unit is now under quarantine
Champions League and Europa League
UEFA announced that both major European football club competitions are postponed.
All sports in Italy now stands cancelled.
NBA has suspended its current season after one of the players tested positive for the virus.
Major League Baseball has cancelled the remainder of spring training and is pushing back the start of the regular season by at least two weeks. The regular season was originally scheduled to start on March 26.
The National Hockey League has suspended its 2019-20 season until further notice.
MLS has suspended its season for 30 days.
“Today, NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors cancelled the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships,” a statement from the NCAA said.
NASCAR announced via Twitter Thursday that its next two races will take place without fans in attendance. The races at the Atlanta Motor Speedway and the Homestead-Miami Speedway will be performed without fans in the stands.
The ATP has announced a six-week suspension of the men’s professional tennis tour due to escalating health and safety issues arising from the global outbreak of COVID-19. The suspension means all ATP Tour and ATP Challenger Tour events scheduled up to and inclusive of the week of April 20 will not take place.
Indy Car Race
Most of the races will take place to empty crowds and the schedule has been severely condensed in light of the virus.
Friends Reunion Special
The long-awaited Friends reunion on HBO Max has been delayed and won’t start production until at least May.
The Scarlett Johansson starrer has been pulled from its release window, it was originally slated for May 1.
Indian events cancelled
Amazon has cancelled its AWS Summit in India, Chinese smartphone conglomerate Xiaomi has announced all on-ground events to be held in New Delhi as cancelled. The Redmi Note 9 and Note 9 Pro will now be launched online.
Realme has already announced that it will be holding a “digital-only” launch for the Realme 6 and 6 Pro series.
The India Fintech Festival has also gotten the axe.
The one of a kind, 48-hour marathon that was supposed to be the Cymbal festival has also been cancelled. It was scheduled for later this month in Gwalior.
Besides these, Apple will also likely shift its WWDC 2020 event online but has yet to make an official announcement.
Update: And the announcement has been made. Apple has made WWDC 2020 an online event.
The IPL also looks like it’s on the chopping block. It’s possible that the entire tournament may get cancelled or would be operational in a severely restricted environment. India’s Health Ministry has said it would not stop sporting events that are scheduled but have issued a strong advisory against organising them.
Geneva International Auto Show
On February 29, the Swiss authorities banned all gatherings of more than 1000 people in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. This meant that the 90th Geneva International Auto Show, the biggest auto festival in the calendar, now stands cancelled. For auto fans, there is a small silver lining, the next major show on the calendar The New York International Auto show has yet to be cancelled.
Did Dean Koontz predict the Coronavirus?
As per conspiracy theorists, Dean Koontz – author of “The Eyes of Darkness” – predicted the Coronavirus in his 1981 book. There have been a staggering amount of shares and pictures on social media, especially the cover of the book and a page in which the author supposedly describes the virus.
The book describes a fictional virus known as the “Wuhan-400” and in the story, the virus is man-made and is called the perfect weapon. The name Wuhan is also coincidentally, one of the first places in China where cases of the virus were first discovered. While this may seem like a complicated Illuminati play at controlling the world, the fact is the actual symptoms of Wuhan-400 are very different from that of the Coronavirus.
In the book, the fictional virus has an incubation period of only four hours, whereas the Coronavirus incubates in four to five days. The fictional virus also has a kill rate of 100%, meaning once you are infected, you are toast! The Coronavirus has several cases of recovery.
There are a lot more of the needed fact checks to be found on Reuters, where they say the information is only partially correct.