The worldwide scare over the novel coronavirus just led to the cancellation of two major WordCamps, special events where WordPress users gather.
I’ve attended a few WordCamps over the past few years. A couple of them were in Atlanta and one was in Charleston. I planned a trip to a WordCamp in Greenville, but at the last minute, I realized that year’s lineup didn’t have enough information that I wanted.
So I made the decision late last year to try to attend at least one of them in 2020.
In fact, I decided I would attend this year’s Greenville WordCamp. But then things got crazy at work, and for reasons not worth going into, those plans fell through.
I checked the list of upcoming WordCamps and saw a couple that, unfortunately, happen during sweeps months. (That’s when TV stations measure demographics with ratings and we don’t get time off then.
The same thing that kept me from being able to attend Greenville WordCamp might have prevented my ability to attend Jacksonville WordCamp. Organizers set March 28-29 as the dates for that event.,
But concerns over COVID-19 prompted its cancellation.
I thought about looking for the next Atlanta WordCamp. Set in the first half of April, that one would work possibly with my schedule.
But just last week, word came that organizers canceled it.
“It is with deep regret that the organizing team, at the recommendation of WordPress Community Support (Central), has decided to cancel WordCamp Atlanta 2020,” a message on the event site states. “The local threat level from COVID-19 is increasing each day, and many of our participants travel to Atlanta for this event each year.”
That fact, organizers said, was too important to ignore.
But Atlanta and Jacksonville’s aren’t the only WordCamps COVID-19 forced organizers to cancel.
The day after Atlanta’s announcement, WordCamp Europe’s site announced that it, too, would not happen. Their site euphemistically calls it a postponement. But let’s face it: They postponed it until next June. That, in my book, means a cancellation.
More cancellations will happen. But keep in mind they’re happening for safety reasons and that fact makes arguing a bit of a challenge.
Fortunately, many WordCamps have video archives of presentations recorded at the events. So you can still learn something you might have missed by watching online.
And keep your fingers crossed that warmer weather will help slow this monster down!