The coronavirus pandemic has essentially uprooted nearly every aspect of our everyday lives, including the canceling and postponing of an array of large gatherings and live events. While it's unclear at this point how long people will be asked to self-isolate in order to prevent the virus' spread, some organizations are taking early precautions to ensure the safety of their patrons. On Wednesday, it was announced that the 74th annual Tony Awards will be postponed, and will no longer be taking place on their originally-scheduled date of June 7th. The event, which honors the best in Broadway and musical theater from the past year and is usually held in New York's Radio City Music Hall, is expected to be rescheduled for a later date (via TVLine).
“The health and safety of the Broadway community, artists and fans is of the utmost importance to us,” the American Theatre Wing, which presents the Tony Awards with the Broadway League, said in a statement. “We are looking forward to celebrating Broadway and our industry when it is safe to do so.”
While canceling the Tonys months before they were set to happen might seem a little overboard, it's just the latest in a string of canceled or postponed events that were set to occur in the summer. The Summer Olympics in Tokyo, which were scheduled for July and August of this year, have already been postponed to 2021. And several summer blockbusters, including Wonder Woman 1984, have already delayed or called off their initial release dates.
There's also the fact that Broadway itself has been shut down since March 12th, as the productions take precautions to encourage social distancing. Two upcoming projects - a revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and the Martin McDonagh play Hangmen - were forced to shutter before they even officially opened.
At the time of this writing, New York has over 30,000 positive cases of COVID-19, with nearly 18,000 of those occurring in New York City. Both the city and state governments have set up stronger social distancing efforts, in hopes of it actually "flattening the curve" of the disease's spread.
"That is almost too good to be true. But the theory is given the density that we're dealing with, it spreads very quickly, but if you reduce the density you can reduce the spread very quickly," New York governor Andrew Cuomo said in a recent appearance.