The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world as we know out and now it is forcing a change to a holiday tradition. According to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio this week, this year’s Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Day Parade will not be held live.
Rather than parading floats through the streets of Manhattan, Macy’s will hold a televised-only event in Herald Square that will film across two days.
“New York City is always proud to join Macy’s to ring in the holiday season with New Yorkers and viewers around the world. We’ve worked closely with the Macy’s team on a safe and creative plan this year, and we look forward to keeping this tradition going on Thanksgiving Day,” said Bill de Blasio in a statement.
Some of the safety measures include:
- Reducing the overall number of participants by approximately 75%, and splitting the remaining participants over two days
- All participants will be appropriately socially distanced during performances and be required to wear face coverings and additional personal protective equipment depending on their role
- Shifting to a television-broadcast-only production with staging for Parade elements focused solely in/ around the Herald Square area of Midtown Manhattan
- The traditional 2.5-mile Parade route will not be utilized this year
- No participant in the Parade will be under 18 years of age
- Previously selected regional High School and College Marching Bands performances will be deferred to the 2021 Macy’s Parade, with locally based professional marching and musical ensembles taking musical duties in the lineup
- Macy’s traditional Giant Balloon Inflation public event on Wednesday will not take place
It marks the fourth time in the history of the parade that it has been canceled. The other three cancellations came during World War II due to helium shortages.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 6.38 million confirmed cases and 191,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.