Should I Cancel My Wedding Because Of The Coronavirus?

The news is full of updates regarding cancellations of events to halt the spread of the coronavirus. Brides and grooms are getting deeply concerned whether their wedding will be affected by closures. Should you cancel your event too?

It seems that every hour there is another news item announcing the closure of this facility or another. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have announced measures to mitigate the economic impact of the virus alert.

So what should you do about your wedding? You have spent months preparing for it, put deposits down, sent invitations.

You have several options:

1- If your wedding is within the next 4 weeks, check with your venue to ensure that they will remain open. If so you can implement preventative measures.

  • Have hand sanitizers and tissue at every table.
  • Anyone that needs to travel by air may need to reconsider attending, especially if they come from an infected area.
  • Anyone feeling slightly ill should not attend.
  • Older people and young children are the most vulnerable. Their attendance can be reviewed.
  • An outdoor wedding is better than indoors because of ventilation.
  • Consider a plated dinner instead of a buffet as it limits the exposure to viruses

2- You can post-pone to a later date. Check with you suppliers as they may be very flexible given the circumstances. For example, will honor your deposit for 18 months. Your marriage license will expire. You can either purchase a new one closer to your new date. Otherwise you can have a small legal wedding at home now, with the reception at a later time.

3- If your wedding is more than one month out, you should monitor the situation to see if you need to go to option 1 or 2.

No matter what option you choose, communicate with your guests quickly and update as needed. They need a chance to alter their plans.

Along with these three options, everyone needs to focus on strategies that limit the ability of the infection to get a foothold in our population.

A vaccine would be nice and will eventually arrive. But in the meantime, epidemics like COVID-19 can be prevented by increasing the prevalence of precautionary behaviours in the general population that impede its spread.

These measures include a few familiar maxims, none of which are implemented consistently enough, and a few unfamiliar ones, which very much need to be taken up individually en masse. And soon.

The familiar ones:

  • wash your hands frequently and properly;
  • cover your mouth (with your arm) when coughing or sneezing;
  • avoid close contact with those who are already infected.

Consider also the following less obvious but equally important behaviours:

Your device screen is a portable petri dish.

Your device screen is a portable petri dish.

1. Disinfect your mobile device screen twice per day — it is a portable petri dish, accumulating bacteria and, yes, viruses. Antibacterial wipes are necessary here, as they generally kill viruses as well. Clean your device at least twice daily, once at lunch and once at dinner time (or linked to another daily routine). A recently published study estimates that viruses like COVID-19 may be able to persist for up to nine days on smooth glass and plastic surfaces, like a mobile phone screen.

2. Avoid touching your face. Your mouth, nose, eyes and ears are all routes into your body for viruses, and your fingers are constantly in touch with surfaces that may contain viruses. This simple measure is very hard to maintain consistently, but is essential for infection control.

3. Use masks only if you are yourself ill and give social kudos to people who are responsible enough to use them when sick.

4. Self-isolate if you are ill and have a fever.