Emory Infectious Diseases Expert Weighs In On Returning To Venues And Concert Halls
Our nation’s largest performing arts organization, The Metropolitan Opera, recently announced that the opera will not reopen for another year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To understand what that means for the arts organizations here in Atlanta, “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes spoke with one of the world’s foremost experts in the area of infectious diseases, Dr. Carlos del Rio. He is a professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Emory University School of Medicine, and he also chairs the Department of Global Health at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health.
Del Rio believes that it is not possible to have any indoor performances at this point in the pandemic.
He has worked with venues such as the Atlanta Opera to think of new ways to host live performances.
“Rather than waiting for the normal of the past to return, we have to adapt to this environment and be creative,” said del Rio.
The Atlanta Opera will be hosting its season under a circus-style tent with people sitting in socially distant “pods.”
Del Rio believes that by next fall, the nation will be in a much better place and can probably return to some sort of normalcy.
“I tell people that by Christmas of next year, we will be in a much better place because we will have a large percentage of the population vaccinated, and we will be where we need to be.”
He continued, “I think here in Georgia and in Atlanta, we’re doing a nice job, and I want to encourage people to continue to do that because not long ago in July, we were having 30 cases per 100,000 population. We’re now down to 8 per 100,000. So opening things like public gatherings, like music halls, is depending on controlling the local epidemic.”