Whether we classify the latest coronavirus as a pandemic, it still is a serious issue. Within just two months, the virus known as COVID-19 has spread across several continents. When something is described as pandemic, it means continuous transmission of the disease, all at the same time in multiple different geographical regions. Pandemic does not refer to a virus' deadly characteristic but rather its transmissibility and geographical reach.
What we really have now is a pandemic of fear. The entire world's media focus is on the coronavirus, resulting to a growing fear of going outdoors and prompting others to panic buy everyday grocery items like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, pasta, milk, bread, canned goods and other staples.
For now, despite the amassing fear brought about by the novel coronavirus, it appears the poker community isn't too concerned. In fact, many poker rooms in Las Vegas are open amidst the coronavirus scare.
Taking precautionary measures
In Las Vegas, America's poker hub, still remain busy. Many players aren't even wearing face masks. However, some notable players are making some lifestyle changes, albeit temporary, as a precautionary measure for what many health experts strongly believe will soon become a huge health crisis in the USA.
Shaun Deeb tweeted he decided to have his kids stop going to school in the meantime.
Phil Galfond said a little preparation and precaution won't cost much.
Bill Perkins lately has been actively tweeting and re-tweeting posts about the virus.
Aria, one of the top poker rooms in Las Vegas, said they will begin washing chips more thoroughly, as a way to lower the odds of staff and customers spreading the coronavirus.
Buffets in Vegas Shut Down
Not only is Las Vegas the poker capital of America, but it is also the buffet capital, with many of the delicious and most expensive buffets in the nation all gathered within one city. While it's a great experience to feast your heart out in such buffets, it can become a worst nightmare for your respiratory (and overall) health in the event you get infected by someone who unknowingly has the coronavirus and is also eating at the same buffet.
So, as a precautionary measure for this foreseen scenario, MGM Resorts has temporarily closed its seven properties: Aria, Bellagio, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, Mirage, and MGM Grand.
However, Wynn is still keeping its buffet doors open, but customers will not be allowed to scoop their own food. For now, a staff member will be the only one doing the scooping.
Not too concerned
On the other side, there are those who aren't too concerned at all.
Mike Matusow is getting ready for some poker action at Bay 101 Casino in California and still plans to go despite others trying to convince him not to play due to the virus.
Daniel Negreanu casually wrote "I'm not afraid of it killing me personally at all."
Not everyone agrees with him though, as others criticized him for the fact he recently flew in some friends from China for a poker home game.
2020 WSOP vs Coronavirus
With the coronavirus still continuing to spread, the poker world is keeping its fingers crossed in the hopes the 2020 WSOP will not be moved or cancelled. Earlier this month, poker pros even came up with a prop bet on the 2020 WSOP likely getting cancelled due to the coronavirus.
The WSOP organizers say they have no intention of cancelling the event, but clarified they will continue to monitor the outbreak and may make changes if needed.
Vice President of Corporate Communication for the WSOP Seth Palansky said, "We've been monitoring the situation and will continue to lean on the experts in this field for guidance. At this time, all our events and schedules remain intact and are planned to go on without interruption. We would be prepared to expand measures to ensure the safety of our guests and employees, again leaning on the experts."