A few minutes ago it was announced that Wordcamp Asia has been cancelled due to the recent COVID-19 concerns in the region. This was a very tough call, but I believe the right one. To give you some context, I’m going to include an extract from the final part of the World Health Organization Director General’s remarks today:
If we invest now in rational and evidence-based interventions, we have a realistic chance of stopping this outbreak.
Maybe you’re tired of me saying window of opportunity, but there is a window of opportunity.
You strike hard when the window of opportunity is there. That’s what we’re saying to the rest of the world. Let’s be serious in using the window of opportunity we have.
The opportunity was created because of the serious measures China is taken in Wuhan and other cities.
But I don’t think this status can stay the same for long. That’s why we have to use the window of opportunity.
If we don’t, we could have far more cases – and far higher costs – on our hands.
I don’t think anybody wants that. This is a common enemy.
Based on the fact that COVID-19 is transmissible prior to symptoms appearing, aggressive quarantine tactics appear to be the right choice. We have an opportunity as a global community to collaborate to stop this infection from becoming a pandemic. But it will require collaboration to defeat this common enemy.
Cancelling WC Asia 10 days before it commences is a brutally tough call. I’ve had the organizers in my thoughts for the past few days knowing, via backchannels, that they’re agonizing over this. This is the right call.
To help do our part, Wordfence is effective immediately making a fund of $10,000 available to assist with airline and hotel change fees. The Wordcamp Asia organizers have already provided a letter that may assist with refunds and fees and you can find that on the announcement page. So try this first. If you still have trouble, we will refund you up to $200 per person on a first come first served basis. Here are our guidelines:
- To help assist with the cancellation of Wordcamp Asia, Wordfence is providing a total of $10,000 at a maximum of $200 per person to help cover airline and hotel change fees.
- To apply, simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will reply with what information we need and how the process works.
- This is available to all Wordcamp Asia 2020 organizers, speakers and attendees on a first come first served basis until the fund runs out.
If you’re able to recover the funds via your company or travel insurance provider, please pursue those avenues first because WCAsia has around 1600 attendees that are affected by this and we would like to help as many people as possible.
If you’d like to discuss this I’m available in real-time on Twitter @mmaunder.
Wordfence Founder & CEO.