Special Report

Shutdown: The Coronavirus

Coronavirus leaves the fate of some beloved New York events uncertain

Centerville High School celebrates invitation to perform in the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which might be canceled due to coronavirus.

Music director Brandon Barrommetti stood in front of over 100 students, parents and teachers last year in the Centerville High School band room to deliver the news: the Jazz Band had received a coveted invitation to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

A cloud of confetti rained on Barrommetti as students, parents and directors hollered and cheered. It had been 37 years since their students marched along Sixth Avenue.

Soon after the celebration, he and his team got to work figuring out the logistics of getting his kids to the Big Apple. But after nearly a year of fundraisers, band rehearsals and anticipation, the band director said the group’s dreams might be dashed.

“You can’t really plan because you don’t know for certain what’s going to happen,” said Barrommetti, who wonders whether the parade will be cancelled because of coronavirus. “It’s [also] like that with the school year and the marching band season… Everything is very unsettled and very up in the air right now.”

Thousands of events have been cancelled or rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the fate of many others is still uncertain.

The TCS New York City Marathon is still set for November 1. But months of fundraising and training are required before the event, and runners are left with little advice on how to prepare for the race.

“I started making preparations for it, but honestly I’ve been completely paralyzed by what to do,” said hopeful participant and NYU student Jimmy Herdegen, 21, of Chicago, who originally planned to start training this summer.

He said the decision will depend on if he is able to return to school for the fall semester.

“The thing that is stressing me out is that even if they do cancel the marathon, I still have to fundraise,” he said.

While future of the parade and marathon remain uncertain, other events were swiftly cancelled.

  “I’m so sad I won’t be able to see you guys in concert this year, but I know this is the right decision,” popstar Taylor Swift tweeted in mid-April after canceling all shows for the rest of the year.

“Please, please stay healthy and safe,” she wrote. “I’ll see you on stage as soon as I can but right now what’s important is committing to this quarantine, for the sake of all of us.”

Barrommetti said it’s been hard to watch so many end-of-the year school events axed— and it’s just as hard wait to see what will happen next.

“It’s just really sad that all those things don’t get a chance to happen,” he said. “The Macy’s Parade is hopefully not on the chopping block.”

Emily Glass is an NYU undergraduate journalism student.


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