Cancel the North Carolina Azalea Festival April 1-5 2020 due to COVID-19 Outbreak

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Cancel the North Carolina Azalea Festival April 1-5 2020 due to COVID-19 Outbreak

This petition made change with 312 supporters!
Josh S started this petition to City Council of Wilmington and

We have over 1573 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the United States, and this number is expected to increase. There have been 40 deaths due to the Coronavirus domestically. This virus is new and does not have a cure. The estimated mortality rate with current data is trending at 2-3 percent, which is 20 more times deadly than influenza and is a moderate risk to the general public.  Large public gatherings at an event can be extremely dangerous, especially when participants travel from all around the US and the world in order to attend the event. Continuing with the North Carolina Azalea Festival April 1-5 2020 would be negligent of New Hanover County and the City of Wilmington.

As residents of Wilmington, North Carolina, we have every right to be concerned about the influx of up to 300,000 residents from outside our area, state, and country to attend the North Carolina Azalea Festival 2020. This is not about the unavoidable economic damage to both small and large businesses in and around Wilmington, North Carolina. Instead, this is about the public health of the residents of Wilmington and all residents from outside our area, state, and country who attend the North Carolina Azalea Festival, including national and international participants.  According to WHO, COVID-19 can transmit from person to person through droplets (coughing, sneezing, talking, etc.) and surfaces touched by confirmed patients or asymptomatic carriers, which basically means that none of us would know if we have been exposed to the virus or not since people without symptoms can also pass on the virus. Thus, we encourage you to think rationally and do some calculations for yourself about how many people you randomly encounter on a daily basis, and whether you are certain that you won't ever become a victim of this global crisis.

Wilmington, North Carolina and surrounding areas have a large percentage of retirees who would be more vulnerable to this virus, as well as those with compromised immunity. This is not the time for greed due to lost revenue. The time to act is now. The spread of the virus from our staple downtown restaurants, the historic district tours of Wilmington, various timeshares and hotels alike all make for the perfect storm for the transmittal of this virus. It is also worth noting that we do not have local medical facilities equipped to handle an outbreak of this a magnitude. This devastation would be unlike anything we have ever seen throughout our coastal area.

Though statistics shows the COVID-19 only has a 2% death rate and 80% of the general public would fully recover from it, we also want to point out: there is also 15% that a confirmed patient would develop serious conditions that could lead to immune system failures and death. In addition, COVID-19 is NOT A FLU despite it can spread like a flu. A flu patient CAN be treated and recover when giving anti-flu medicines; a COVID-19 patient has NO KNOWN CURE and can only rely on their self-immune system to fight off the virus.

As a highly inclusive community, we are responsible to protect each and every community member, which include the ones who are elderly, fragile, or the ones who suffer from chronic diseases, cancer, immune system diseases, and other form of disabilities. The lives of these people should not be down-played and we should not risk their lives since they have a higher chance catching COVID-19 and develop critical situations that require hospitalization.

Losses will extend to small business owners who order unused supplies and food orders to accommodate the festival attendees. There are music festivals, concerts, sporting events, gymnastic tournaments that are being cancelled all over the world as a result of Coronavirus and COVID-19.  Wilmington, North Carolina is not immune to the effects of this very dangerous and contagious virus. Losses can be mitigated with a cancellation sooner rather than later.

Thank you for not waging the lost revenue from the annual North Carolina Azalea Festival for the public health and safety of the residents of New Hanover county and the festival attendees from surrounding areas, near and far.  Please sign this petition and stand with all the lives that are potentially at risk. Let us protect ourselves and the residents of New Hanover County, North Carolina and festival attendees from COVID-19 by doing the right thing before it's too late.

 

With sincerest respect,

Alison Sleath Grzegorzewski, Wilmington Resident

and

Josh Stutsman, Wilmington Resident

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This petition made change with 312 supporters!

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