St. Patrick’s Day celebrations all across the world are being abruptly canceled to curb the spread of the coronavirus as the virus has been officially classified as a pandemic. The City of Dublin announced on Wednesday that all aspects of their annual two-day festival would be canceled — including a 5K Shamrock Fun Run and Walk, a St. Paddy’s Day parade, and a massive pancake breakfast.
CNN reports that Northern Ireland’s Belfast has also canceled their festival, as well as South Boston here in the states, with Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Dallas all following suit. As of the morning of March 12th, New York City has postponed its St. Patrick’s Day events, according to The New York Times. The New York St. Patrick’s Day parade generally brings together an average of 150,000 marchers and two million spectators every year.
The latest data on the coronavirus shows that the virus is most infectious before the host shows symptoms, according to Dr. Robyn Gershon, a Clinical Professor of Epidemiology at NYU’s School of Global Public Health who explained to Gothamist why that’s such a problem, “That’s a little bit worrisome because if they peak their infectiousness right before they start to feel sick, they may be out and about, and on the subway and in movie theaters and stuff like that.”
So a gathering of millions of people all in the name of St. Patrick’s Day? Though we’re not the fear-mongering types, we’ll just drink at home this year, thank you.