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WWDC 2020: Why Apple must go virtual for this year’s show

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No matter how important this year’s WWDC 2020 might be, I don’t see Apple, which strives to be a good corporate citizen, holding its big show in June amid the gathering Coronavirus threat. 

This is global warning

We’re in the containment phase at the moment, as governments worldwide seek to slow the spread of the infection in the hope they can find some kind of solution. It’s in everybody’s interest to hold that line for as long as possible.

The problem is that the virus has a long gestation period, a high infection rate, and a far higher fatality rate than the flu. That means it can easily proliferate at public events.

Apple’s giant WWDC is the most important event in the company’s calendar. It’s a fascinating place where business is done, connections made, and Apple opens up a little, sharing its ideas, new operating systems and gently guides partners into what it plans for the months and years ahead. I love to attend when I can.

The show attracts at least 6,000 people from all around the world, which, unfortunately, is a problem in the context of the coronavirus.

Not only can it spread quite rapidly in a crowded room (I’m not certain of its infection rate via air conditioning systems), but all those people at WWDC stay somewhere and interact with local services, hotels, restaurants.

If just a few people are infected at the start of the event, you can rest assured many more will be once it ends. It might be a couple of weeks before they know they’ve been hit, by which time they will have returned home, unknowingly infecting others along the way.

That’s how this particular infection works.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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