Tourists in Nashville carry on after coronavirus cancels events

(12 Mar 2020) Bartenders were still pouring drinks and the bands kept playing in Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday (12 March 2020) despite the cancellation of a major basketball tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Southeastern Conference cancelled its basketball tournament Thursday at Bridgestone Arena, turning away thousands of sports fans.
A handwritten sign was taped on the Nashville Predators team store door which simply read: “closed”.
But the cancellation and warnings didn’t seem to deter bachelorettes, still happy to gather downtown and push through the day’s news.
Bob and Diane Erickson, of Cambridge, Minnesota, were also unconcerned and were still visiting all the city’s major tourist destinations, including The Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium, that were unaffected thus far.
“We’re just watching it and seeing what happens. It’s gonna get bigger,” said Bob Erickson. “We’re not really shaking hands with anybody or hugging anybody,” he admitted.
Shannon and Jeff Weaver, of Lexington, Kentucky, came to Nashville to cheer on the Kentucky Wildcats in the tournament before it was cancelled.
The couple said it was a shame that coronavirus cancellations were now impacting a city still recovering from deadly tornadoes that hit parts of Nashville and surrounding areas last week.  
“They were asking people to come down because of the tornadoes and Nashville really needed the business and this is just another hit to them,” said Shannon Weaver.
Mike Beliles, of Wilmington, North Carolina, was in Nashville for the weekend and expressed concern about how the cancellations were affecting people who worked in the entertainment and sporting industries.
“It’s the people who are trying to make ends meet and they aren’t able to work,” Beliles said.
More than 1,300 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the United States, and 38 people have died as of Thursday (12 March 2020) evening.
About 128,000 people have been infected globally. However, more than 60,000 people have recovered from the coronavirus spreading around the globe.
The disease can cause varying degrees of illness and is especially troublesome for older adults and people with existing health problems, who are at risk of severe effects, including pneumonia. But for most of those affected, coronavirus creates only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, with the vast majority recovering from the virus.

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