WWDC: Local health authority puts event in doubt
While I’m sad as sad can be about it, the fate of Apple’s WWDC 2020 event seems even less positive following new public health guidance from Santa Clara’s Public Health Department, which looks after the area in which the event takes place.
Will they or won’t they go on with the show?
We’ve been wondering if Apple would press ahead with WWDC for a couple of weeks, and at present it does seem unlikely, particularly given Apple’s move to withdraw from attending SWSX.
The event’s super-important to Apple, not least because it wants to introduce new operating systems and discuss its strategy over the year ahead, particularly around Catalyst and the mythical ARM-based Mac, but also because the company had been expected to introduce SiriOS this year.
However, the health guidance seems pretty clear, and while there’s still a couple of weeks in which the coronavirus may burn itself out, Apple’s going to have to consider that advice.
I do hope the virus burns out and Apple gets its show, however.
What the health people in WWDC home town, San Jose say
“We understand that people are very concerned about COVID-19. I want to remind the public that the vast majority of people who become infected with COVID-19 do not become seriously ill, and fully recover.
“We are making these recommendations to protect the most vulnerable members of our community from the virus, and slow its spread,” said Dr. Sara Cody, County Public Health Officer. “We are continuously monitoring this evolving situation and will issue new guidance if and when that is warranted.”
New Guidance for Persons Hosting Mass Gatherings and Large Community Events
“At this time, we recommend postponing or canceling mass gatherings and large community events where large numbers of people are within arm’s length of one another.
“If you can’t avoid bringing groups of people together:
- Urge anyone who is sick to not attend.
- Encourage those who are at higher risk for serious illness to not attend.
- Try to find ways to give people more physical space so that they aren’t in close contact as much as possible.
“Encourage attendees to follow increased hygiene, such as:
- Washing their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- If soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used in a pinch
- Avoid close contact with other people
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Covering their cough or sneeze with a tissue – if available – or into their elbow
- Clean surfaces with standard cleaners.”
What can Apple do?
Apple is in a predicament, but it’s not an impossible one – it could simply delay the time of the show.
Meanwhile, it may want to invest some money in research like this, which may help turn your Apple Watch into an early warning system for flu infections.