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Video-game company pulls out of Boston convention because of coronavirus fears

Sony says it won't be at Pax East next weekend, although its statement on why makes it unclear if its worried its employees will either contract COVID-19 here (we've had one reported case, a person who returned from Wuhan) or get it at the airport or something:

Sony Interactive Entertainment made the decision to cancel its participation at PAX East in Boston this year due to increasing concerns related to COVID-19 (also known as “novel coronavirus”). We felt this was the safest option as the situation is changing daily. We are disappointed to cancel our participation in this event, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern.

WBZ reports Pax East organizers are planning "enhanced cleaning and sanitation" to guard against the virus, which, again, has caused exactly one case in the state. No word if Pax East is planning any vaccination booths for the flu, the severity of which is currently very high in Massachusetts, according to the state Department of Public Health.

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Comments

Damn, good punch about the flu at the end there. It's crazy how much the coronavirus is screwing with everyone, considering how widespread the usual seasonal flu already is.

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would not do much good, as the vaccine takes a couple of weeks to become effective.

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It's true that vaccination booths wouldn't help to protect the recipients from catching the flu at the event, but it would still increase the number of people who are vaccinated, which would certainly do good in the long run.

BTW, I keep seeing comments that there has been a "second strain" or "second wave" of flu that isn't covered by this season's shots. The MA Department of Public Health doesn't support that assertion:

All influenza strains that have been characterized in Massachusetts this season to date are covered by the current influenza vaccine.
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Instead of worrying about disease there needs to be a seriously huge sign at the entrance saying "No Deodorant - No Entry". I imagine many fools will be showing up with masks on this year, when there is no reason to wear them, but at the same time will be killing us all with their armpits.

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Just finished reading about all the negative market effects of this virus and I'm sorry but it all sounds like fear-mongering. A virus ravaging a town in China and a relatively few cases worldwide that haven't resulted in a ton of deaths is not something to shut down the world over.

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has 11 million residents, more than all of Massachusetts.

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The Tokyo Marathon withdrew all but 200 'elite' runners from its race next month.

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While I am not a big Sony fan, having never owned a PS#... I do worry this will cause an irrational stampede of other exhibitors for no good reason. And it will leave a big hole on the show floor as their booth was huge. Bear in mind Sony's booth equipment and personnel are likely 100% US based, and we're not talking about stuff or people coming from Asia.

There is no risk, at this point, of exposure to the coronavirus at this convention. Now if people were traveling from affected places to the convention, or if Boston had many infected people, it would be different. We have had one isolated case here, and nigh everyone coming is from the northeast, or at least from within the US, where such cases are rare and isolated.

Right now the biggest fears for convention goers should be the flu, and usual convention spread colds and the like. Those plague every convention, everywhere, all the time. Enough to have a nickname: Con Crud.

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....is a huge international show (the mobile phone show basically) and they straight up cancelled the damn thing, so this isn't surprising or particularly provincial.

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When you consider most of the people affected by this virus are older and presumably not going to a gaming event nor a mobile phone event.

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A lot of younger people are not showing much in the way of symptoms, which makes it worse rather than better.

If you aren't feeling too awful, get out and around, and share your COVID-19 payload with lots of others, that is a problem.

On the other hand how many people going to this event are likely to have been in affected areas lately?

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their concerns about travel impediments or restrictions due to COVID-19, rather than the disease itself. Which, frankly, is fair. It's far more likely that the department of public health will say, "Hey there was someone positive for COVID-19 on Airline Flight 123 and now everyone who was on that flight is quarantined in place," than a disease epidemic causing problems.

Or perhaps their employee health insurance has cruddy out of state coverage and their staff won't take the risk of needing to/being forced to seek medical attention out of state, because they don't want to deal with the avalanche of bills.

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Wasnt there an issue of a H1N1 outbreak at a PAX east years ago?

Might be part of the reason.

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They are afraid of catching it on the east coast of the US when Japan is in Asia?

Or are they afraid of spreading it?

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My question is did they cancel all their other shows too? I bet you Sony canceled all events for the next few months and Boston just happens to be one. I can not imagine that Boston was singled out?

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what is sony doing at penny arcade anyways ? they are one of the largest corporations in the world.

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PAX is the biggest gaming convention series in the country and Sony makes a lot of money off Playstation games.

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bigger than c.e.s. and g3 ?
i thought pax was a chance for indies to shine ?

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And? PAX is one of the biggest gaming conventions in the US. All major game companies are there, including Nintendo, Microsoft and (usually) Sony. They often pay for the biggest real estate also.

Very interested to see what PAX does with the empty Sony space. I'm sure Sony's already paid for it, too...

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They pulled out of E3 last year and 2020 because it has "lost its impact" for them.

They just have a new excuse now.

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