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I don't think there would be a more effective way to spread disease than with this annual music festival.

Some people objected to the canceling of Austin's South By Southwest music and tech fest, but it was the correct move. I don't even know how (short of confining a sick person on a cruise ship) you could come up with a more effective way to spread a bug around.

First, you have people coming from, and going back to, places all over the globe. You have the constant churn of crowds from one place to the next. You have people uncomfortably close in small, enclosed spaces. All in all, it's like one giant petri dish.

This is not the same as a large concert. If you went to a show in a large coliseum, the chances of you being infected by someone a row or two over is still tiny because they're in their seat and you're in yours. SXSW is like putting people in a blender every couple of hours until everyone has experienced everyone else's germs.

Unfortunately, moves like this disrupt some people's good times, but it could still save many lives. I don't think this should mean the end of all large events; they should all be examined closely and an appropriate decision made.