Coronavirus fears knock out more PAX East exhibitors, but GDC will go on as planned

    
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Medusa Oblongata

Hi-Rez Studios and That Game Company have become the latest game studios to back out of PAX East 2020, which begins today.

“After some internal discussion we’ve made the call to cancel our #PAXEast activities this weekend,” Hi-Rez Community Lead Isaiah Turner tweeted last night. “So sorry to everyone that was looking forward to our meet and greets. We’ve still got lots of events planned for the rest of the year so keep an eye out!” In a follow-up, he clarified that the “[d]ecision was made as a safety precaution due to the growing concern of coronavirus.”

That Game Company made a similar statement yesterday: “Due to COVID-19 concerns, we’ve made the difficult decision to no longer attend PAX East. As a small international team, we want to put the health of our team first & take every precaution to avoid risk.”

CD Projekt Red and PUBG Corp have also issued statements about withdrawing from the con. As we’ve previously reported, several other major exhibitors, including Sony, Square-Enix and EA, had previously announced plans to cancel their attendance.

Thus far, there’s been only one documented case of the virus in Boston itself, and the CDC continues to say that the “potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 is high, both globally and to the United States,” but that for the “general American public” the “immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.” In spite of recent reports of the first case of suspected “community transmission” in the USA, the CDC maintains that the virus is “not currently spreading” in the country, though it says it will change its risk assessment if and when the virus causes a pandemic.

But over in San Francisco, where GDC 2020 is set to begin in just a few weeks, local authorities have declared an outright health emergency ahead of an anticipated outbreak and made plans to step up resources to fight it. GDC organizers, however, say they are “moving forward as planned.” Multiple attendees have already pulled out of GDC, including, today, Unity, Epic Games, and Microsoft.

Update
An esports event in Poland has now been canceled.

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Celestia
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Celestia

I’d much rather people err on the side of caution when it comes to this or any pandemic.

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traja

I’m questioning if gaming conventions should even be held right now. Any large gathering that brings people together from all over the world is going to be an amazing way to spread the virus. Especially if there is any kind of play testing going on because that involves countless people sharing controllers. At least that part should not be done and instead stick to only showing the games.

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Jack Pipsam

I can only hope for everybody over there that nothing goes wrong with PAX East going ahead right now. GDC & E3 should have a real hard thing about themselves, especially E3 with its international-focus.
I’ve heard all sorts of mixed things about the US governmental response to it, hopefully everything will snap into gear correctly if the time comes in an unfortunate event of an mass-outbreak there.

Despite right now having it contained with no new cases, yesterday we’ve officially preventatively declared a Pandemic, triggering a special state where we’re going to be stockpiling and other powers comes into effect, fully expecting the worst to hit. Cynically I reckon they’re doing it as knee-jerk response to their mishandling of the Bushfires, but while some might think it’s over kill, I’m super glad, that even if driven for entirely political reasons, that they’re taking this extremely seriously, regardless of the economic smashing we’re getting.

Sooner the vaccine can be developed, the better.

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Schmidt.Capela

The guy put in charge of coordinating the US response to COVID-19 holds a deeply seated distrust of science fueled by religious fundamentalism. So, while I hope he does a good job, since I don’t want to see an epidemic running rampant in the US, I nevertheless don’t hold high expectations.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

Better safe than sorry, there is always next year for the convention when things are more certain.

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JoeCreoterra

This is the first year I’m losing my excitement for GDC. Not only are all the major players pulling out but reading headlines I’m still a bit worried about going into the large crowds.

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Armsbend

I went to a college basketball game Tuesday – that will probably be my last major event until they get this thing sorted out. Godspeed CDC and Emory University!

Alyn
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Alyn

As time goes by I am beginning to feel that, unfortunately, we are living through a dark historic period in the 21st Century. Let us hope is only a short spate for us all globally!

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

History is full of darkness from the birth of cities to now, I guarantee you if you open up a History book and flip to any time period there’s something bad that’s happening, ten years from now it’s going to be another dark period.

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Marty Woods

While there was always something bad happening somewhere at any given point in history I think on a global scale this is one of the darker periods in recent human history . In fact I think you would have to look back to the second world war to see a worst time period on such a scale as we see now .

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

The Corona virus has the ‘potential’ to be a Global Pandemic, that said the infection rate is lower than the Flu, it kills less people than the Flu, you are more likely of dying from the Flu; so if you’re going die from a Corona Virus infection odds are you are a high risk person for any and all things that might kill you disease wise any way.

PS While I don’t play a Doctor on TV, I am a Nationally Certified Patient Care Tech at a Hospital that treats gravely ill people with Cancer, post op patients, neutropenic patients. I frequently have patients with MRSA, C Diff, and Flu.

If you’re just a normal everyday person you might get a minor infection, get knocked on your ass thinking you have the Flu and get better with out realizing you even had the Corona Virus, how ever even your common cold runs the risk of hospitalizing these folks with living with chronic illnesses, so some times isolating your self is more for their protection than your own (that goes for going to work instead of calling in sick).

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Malcolm Swoboda

I don’t know where you’re getting that its less transmissible and deadly than the seasonal flu.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice
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Malcolm Swoboda

So their answer is a non-answer, particularly in the face of the evolving situation.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

We’re talking about a minimal chance of serious illness if you’re a healthy person, I’m not even talking about people in the prime of their life I’m just talking everyday people that wake up and go to work while not paying attention to half the unhealthy crap they ingest.

If you’re an elderly person that happens to have a chronic disease, or some one with uncontrolled Diabetes with sugar in the hundreds with toes that look like they’re candidates for amputation, people on Chemo; patients that we in the business call frequent fliers then you run the risk of dying from the Corona Virus, but even then the Flu would probably get you first because it’s more wide spread and half the time the people making the vaccine target the wrong strain to begin with.

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Malcolm Swoboda

It is not minimal chance. It is minimal if you treat it, and many people will not be in the situation that they can treat it.

It is better than SARS/MERS. We have that to be thankful for.

But it is far from the seasonal flu so far, and that’s half of the reason for the drastic (and potentially future increases to) response from governments. The only near equation is that it spreads in nearly the same way.

If we had perfect hospital infrastructure I’d be more inclined to believe you. But we don’t.

And some of us care about our elderly, chronically ill, and travelling loved ones.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

What do you do for a living, I literally am going to be the one up front and center in this once it hits our hospitals.

“And some of us care about our elderly, chronically ill, and travelling loved ones.” Is insulting to all Health Care workers that try to calm the hyperbolic BS and misinformation that the media generates for clicks by drumming up a frenzy of fear.

If I didn’t care about your elderly, chronically ill, and travelling loved ones then I wouldn’t be breaking my back doing the work that you are incapable, not trained, nor willing to do.

What you should be saying, instead of passive aggressive jabs like that is ‘thank you for your service, thank you for giving me some extra time with these sick loved ones before they eventually die because these folks will still be susceptible toward serious illness and eventually the limits of medicine will be reached.

I mean seriously dude I literally see people dying on a regular basis while my Co Workers and I take care of what ever acute infection they have so that they can go back to their status quo until they get the next health crisis.

When normal people on the outside say God saved my loved one, no it was trained PCT’s, and RNs watching over your loved ones 24 hours a day monitoring every little change in their Vital Signs, Mentation, and Lab Work; it’s the surgeons, intensivists, cardiologists, oncologists, infectious disease specialists, and general practioners that do their work based on that data we collect based off the care that we provide.

So tell me more about what I see in my ‘house’ from your arm chair.

I’m done, any other replies to you is going to be a waste of my finite time and energy.

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traja

I don’t think that a workplace will help you with this type of analysis. If anything it gives you an unrealistic perspective since you are observing things through a selection filter.

Education on the other hand could be relevant. Are you a doctor and if so is this your specialty?

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

I am a PCT, I have hands on day to experience with patients on Contact/GI/Airborne/Droplet Precaution, I have day to day experience with Oncology Patients, I have day to day experience with Neutropenic patients, I have day to day experience with post op patients that have routine Gal Bladder/Appendectomies to Broken Hips to more serious surgeries such as bowel resections/ostomies, I have day to day experience with neurological patients that have suffered strokes/spinal injury/degenerative diseases such as MS.

I have seen some %$#@, and while I do not have a medical degree people like my self have had to learn a lot of medical knowledge so that we don’t kill your loved ones through ignorance.

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traja

Your work is valuable of course but I don’t think you should be relying on it to inform you about something like a global epidemic. Hell I don’t even claim to be an expert and I went to medical school. This is a field of its own and you need to specialize in it.

For example I don’t know if you are necessarily correct about it being harmless to healthy young individuals. Novel viruses tend to be more deadly to that group than usual as young people don’t have as much cross resistance as older people do. I haven’t looked into corona virus specifically but it’s not obvious that you shouldn’t worry about it unless you are in a typical risk group.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

I have read up about it, I just avoid the media because it’s skewed for clicks.

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Malcolm Swoboda

Not a health care worker.

But I intimately have known enough of them to know they’re as fallible (but not as often wrong) as anyone else, even in healthcare-exclusive concerns. You’re trusted for your on-the-ground reports, so I’d love to hear what you have to say weeks+ from now, but I doubt you’re as good as some others (but definitely including myself) at the number crunching and large-scale analysis. And from those that seem to be, I’m getting a range from ‘this’ll calm down and have a treatment by end of year’ to ‘with some unlucky discoveries and major structural mistakes, it’ll be pretty horrible’. What I’m not getting is ‘you’ll be fine, do very little/nothing’.

I’m not a theist so I don’t even know what you’re on about at the end. Yeah, you’re a worker. Thanks for working. I’m glad you continue to do it and I’m probably in support of you getting more compensation than you currently do. Good?

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Deleted it because it mentions my employer, so that would violate some policy more than likely.

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Malcolm Swoboda

You’re a credited infectious disease expert? I thought you were a PCT?

Its from experts we’re getting such lovely info confirmed like incubation periods lasting potentially over a month, which already is a bigger concern, in its particular way, than anything flu.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Have a nice day sir.

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traja

The mortality rate of your common seasonal flu is around 0.1%. While the same for the corona virus is around 2% if we trust all the reporting. That is a considerable difference.

There is no reason to panic of course because your odds of dying as a healthy young gamer is very low. Your odds of getting quarantined for 2 weeks on the other hand :)

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Exactly my point, that low rate of death is mainly tied to your over all health. Hell I as a Hospital worker probably have a greater risk to dying of the Corona Virus than any healthy person posting in this comments section.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

Statistics fluctuate depending on their sample.

Given that the current sample is representative of the entirety of the global population and the numbers being provided are accurate then inferences can be drawn (and should be treated as being tentative, not definitive). Considering the flu statistics are from a much larger sample over a longer period of time they should be treated as being more reliable than the statistics being produced by the current sample for a recent development with a relatively smaller and less representative sample.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

an excellent point.

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Malcolm Swoboda

Average of at least 2%, likely more, definitely more if you’re a risk group, and that’s in the context of a working public health system that can address the many more that become seriously ill but can survive with intervention.

If this is contained? A nasty time, and this initial economic hit, but otherwise society is ‘fine’. At most, it becomes a yearly issue that we respond better to each time. The worry is that it spreads too fast, becomes too unknown, and too many hospitals become overburdened as we all live in a tighter recessionary world.

I don’t expect I’ll ever be going about my day like The Stand’s superflu is around every corner. I do expect this to get worse world-wide, not better, and I’m skeptical of China’s information.

2% alone is 1/50. If we get confirmations of 5%? Nuts. If word of it being repeatedly infectious are confirmed? More nuts. We don’t need the plague to be significantly disrupted.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

It probably escaped a lab in Wuhan like Lyme did from that lab off the coast of Connecticut.

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Schmidt.Capela

Nah, it’s not a bioweapon. In a bioweapon you want serious symptoms in most cases and/or high lethality (so it’s effective in disabling the target) but low potential to spread beyond ground zero (otherwise you lose control over the weapon, which can damage you or your allies). COVID-19 is the exact opposite: mild symptoms or even asymptomatic in about 80% of the infected, roughly as contagious as the common cold, and potentially even harder to contain (particularly if it’s confirmed that it can go dormant on the host, not only ceasing the symptoms but also testing negative for many days, before resurfacing).

Dantos
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Dantos

CD Projekt Red and PUBG corp also pulled out.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

People go in to these conventions from all over the place, so it isn’t about how many cases have been found in Boston (though in the case of this virus, I would say 1 case is 1 too many to be gathering up in a convention).

The virus spreads between people who don’t show symptoms yet. People are running it all over the world thinking they’re trying to get away from it when they already have it. It simply isn’t worth attending a silly convention at this time.

The general American public, going to their local grocery stores and stuff? Yeah, that’s fine. But gathering up together with huge numbers of people from all different areas, lots from all corners of the country (and normally many out of country visitors) in a convention is completely different. That’s exactly what COVID-19 would tell everybody to please do if it was conscious and able to speak.

Vaeris
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Vaeris

Can’t say I blame them. Games and money aren’t more important than your ability to be here on on Earth alive.