The Covid-19 virus outbreak and spread has shaken up on international travel and tourism. The cruise ship industry has taken a deep hit, with governments issuing warnings telling people “not to take cruises” and blocking their entry, if there is an inkling of possibility that someone on board may have encountered an infected person or space.
It has caused the postponement of notable annual events, such as SXSW, an annual arts interactive, bringing a collective of film, music, interactive media and conferences to Austin, Texas. Major sporting events are taking place without fans in the stands and the threat of the postponement or even cancelling of the 2020 olympic Games, is not an unforeseeable possibility. Japan saw early cases of the virus and remains in the top ten countries to have cases and deaths from the new virus. Jamaica has been fortunate enough not to see any cases and continues to take measures protecting against exposed persons landing through any port of entry. The government took measures to restrict travel from persons visiting China within a 14 day period and expanded this to include South Korea, Iran, Singapore and Italy on 27 February 2020.
Despite it not being in Jamaica, the economic effects of the virus are already being felt. The organizers of the annual Stepping High Festival have postponed the event indefinitely. They issued this release on the festival website:
“The promoters of Stepping High Festival have been paying close attention to [the] threat posed by COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. After careful consideration, the painful decision was made to suspend the festival slated for March 20 – 21, 2020 until further notice”.
“Stepping High Festival, being an international health and wellness event, with visitors coming from all over the world, we have chosen to prioritise the wellbeing of our attendees, given all the risk and uncertainties surrounding this global issue”.
The Stepping High Festival is well established on the Jamaican cannabis event calendar. It is the longest running ganja festival in the Caribbean. This year is slated to be the 17th edition. Ganjactivist.com was planning on attending this event and will miss the connections we would have made. Let us keep our hands clean and hope this virus is contained and a vaccine is made accessible to all who need it anywhere on earth.