Los Angeles Mayor does not think large public gatherings will return until Fall 2021

Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks to the importance of technology and innovation to the future of Los Angeles. (Eric Garcetti/Wikicommons)

Large public gatherings like sporting events and concerts are anticipated to be off-limits in Los Angeles until Fall 2021 due to COVID-19, according to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. 

“Until there is either a vaccine or some sort of pharmaceutical intervention… we’ve got many many miles to walk before we are going to be back in those environments,” Garcetti told CNN on “The Situation Room.”

Garcetti’s announcement supports the statements made by Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the U.S. National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), who believes a vaccine would come within 12-18 months. Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who previously advised Barack Obama and is the chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, also believes that 12-18 months is the most realistic scenario.

President Donald Trump is enthusiastic about reopening the nation as soon as possible with May 1 as a goal, but Mayor Garcetti and Dr. Fauci are among the many people who prefer a slower approach as they consider public health to be the top priority. President Trump has set new guidelines for each state in the nation in response to the coronavirus and has a plan to reopen the nation which involves 3 phases. 

Along with these new guidelines, President Trump has had a change of heart from his prior tweet which claimed the president had full power of re-opening the states. According to The White House, the new set of guidelines states that “The guidelines will empower Governors to tailor the phased reopening to address the situation in their State”. 

This means that each state will independently decide which phase they are in depending on the severity of the situation. Densely populated cities such as New York and Los Angeles are expected to have more cases in comparison to states such as Wyoming and Montana. 

The city of Los Angeles is home to 11 professional sports teams and several concert venues that have been directly impacted by COVID-19. All major sports leagues have been canceled until further notice and artists have been performing concerts online to entertain many of the people stuck at home. 

Dr. Fauci has laid down a plan for major sports leagues to either finish or play out their respective seasons. The blueprint for success in this situation would rely on fans being withdrawn from stadiums or arenas with the athletes in a designated living area. President Trump has been in discussions with major sports league commissioners in hopes to solve the issue. 

Along with these operations, smaller public gatherings such as the Rose Bowl Flea Market and OC Fairgrounds have been forced to postpone any events until further notice. The restrictions on large public gathers will hinder many large corporations, but it will also affect small independent business owners as well.  Events such as the OC Fair and OC Nightmarket are an opportunity for small businesses to create a boost in revenue for a small amount of time. 

“I’m still selling clothes and stuff online, but I miss being at big vintage market type events,” said Arvin Madlambayan, a vendor at the Rose Bowl Fleamarket. “I don’t get the same amount of buyers online since there is no face to face interaction.”

As Los Angeles County has announced the “safer at home” order to be extended until May 15, Southern California residents should get comfortable where they live.  The hopes of large gatherings are an idea for the future as the government is currently focused on reopening the nation. 

It’s difficult to imagine us getting together in the thousands anytime soon,” Garcetti told CNN. “I think we all have never wanted science to work so quickly.”

The Los Angeles County Department of Health has reported that there have been 11,391 cases and 495 deaths directly linked to COVID-19 as of April 17.