Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

With AXPONA a month away, and the Coronavirus on the rise, I have to decide whether or not to book my flight and go, or stay home. Already major events have been cancelled—like SXSW and two major trade shows in Chicago that were supposed to take place at the giant McCormick Center (venue for the old and most fun CES summer shows), among others around the country and the world (like Munich High End).

I've already heard from one person who was supposed to participate in a panel discussion I'm set to run. He's not going. I have no idea who else is going or not going. According to a recent AXPONA e-blast letter only 4 exhibitors have canceled including the only one from China.

My wife, who has asthma and other respiratory issues doesn't want me to go. I love traveling. I have averaged more than 100,000 miles annually for the last few years.

So, I thought I'd ask analogPlanet readers: should I stay (home) or should I go (to Axpona)? Meanwhile I'll play that Clash album and see if any Joe Strummer advice emerges from the record grooves... as for the image at the top, while it's the Coronavirus, it sure looks like the '60s to me!

seykayay's picture

It’s a great time to work from home, make more of your fabulous album review videos, and decrease the chances of grave illness for yourself and your wife. I imagine that most events will be cancelled anyway. Wishing you health and safety, no matter what you decide!

ravenacustic's picture

Mike, same questions here. My wife was in the hospital for many weeks and only out for several. She’s weak and debilitated. I wouldn’t want to bring the virus home. We are senior citizens. Everything says don’t go but I have been booked for AXPONA for a year having gone last year with all that crazy snow. I don’t have an answer for you. Do you have one for me?

ravenacustic's picture

I could stay home and catch the virus too. Actually the plane ride worries me more. If someone with a cold sits near me I might bolt from the plane.

theboogeydown's picture

I've seen more than one vendor that has decided to pull out. I obviously have no idea what the numbers look like but even if folks don't feel like their demo is at risk, no one wants to be responsible for bringing it home to someone in a demo that might be.

theboogeydown's picture

I've seen more than one vendor that has decided to pull out. I obviously have no idea what the numbers look like but even if folks don't feel like their demo is at risk, no one wants to be responsible for bringing it home to someone in a demo that might be.

analogdw's picture

Not worth the risk. All available info indicates this thing will get worse before it gets better, especially with the idiot-in-chief and his hand puppet Pence in charge.

Roy Martin's picture

Please don't go.

michael paul's picture

I would like to shake your hand one day when this crisis has ended. I need to thank you for re-introducing me to vinyl.
Stay home. Listen to some albums. I think you have a few.


wyatt72's picture

in Italy we had to close schools for at least 15 days, we are taking drastic measures, the virus is unfortunately on the rise...

PAR's picture

If you are flying then think of the recirculated air in the cabin. If someone is infected its going to be difficult to avoid the virus.

Dealing with the virus is harder for older people (like us) and the two deaths from it so far in my country have both been people aged over 70.

The mathematics of contagion will mean it is likely to be at its height around the time of Axpona. Friday morning we had 86 reported cases. I am writing on Saturday evening and that has grown to over 200.

I have tickets to see Clare Teal in concert next Saturday and am thinking of calling it off given the need to travel in London's crowded tube system to get to the venue.

My opinion is Keith ( er, Mikey) Don't Go.

DJ Slippy's picture
AnalogJ's picture

Chances are, you won't die from it. That doesn't mean that you won't pick it up. Once you return, you'll probably want to self-quarantine to ensure that you didn't get it, and won't pass it on.

The thing is, it's highly contagious. And even though you may not get seriously ill from it, you don't want to pass it on.

If you're willing to take on all those precautions, then go for it. If you're not (particularly staying home for at least several days upon return to make sure that others didn't catch it while there and you didn't catch it), then I'd probably skip it. You'll be handling lots of equipment, records, etc., that you need to make sure you handle with gloves and/or was wiped down with an antibacterial. Don't touch your face with your hands, etc.

AnalogJ's picture

I had a long comment. Only the subject went online.

In any event, if you take precautions, such as the usual recommendations of lots of washing of your hands, not touching your face (as interesting, terrain-wise, as it is), and perhaps wearing light gloves when handling records and equipment (and making sure the equipment has been wiped down with an antibacterial), you'll be okay, personally, if you're an otherwise healthy individual. Your chance of dying from it is extremely low, even as an elderly whiner that you are (kidding).

However, when you get home, Michael, you need to be willing to self-quarantine for at least several days. This would be to make sure that there wasn't an eventual reporting of those coming down with it from attending (and/or from the flight), and make sure you don't pass it onto someone else. This version of the coronavirus, COVID-19, is highly contagious. That you probably won't get seriously ill from it doesn't mean that you won't pass it onto to someone who will. So self-quarantining is important once you come back. If you're not willing to do all of that, I'd suggest staying home. Drumpf's quote of "Go to work. You'll be fine." is not good common sense in this case (although we can say that a lot about what comes out of his KFC-wide yap).

PeterPani's picture

and give us record reviews!

Jim Tavegia's picture

I have Asthma/COPD and asbestos exposure from my military time at Aberdeen Proving Grounds for over 1.5 years. (Don't ask the VA for any help other than meds.) We also have been doing background acting here in ATL for almost a year, often in large crown scenes (Jewell)and we are starting to wonder about going out now that a few cases are around us.

We get the quad flu shot and pneumonia shots as I cannot take any chances anymore at 72. We don't want to live our lives afraid, but this virus makes all of this a tough call.

Narayan's picture

What would you think if it was you who had the respiratory issues and asked your wife not to go and she went regardless? I bet you might send her "Straight to Hell" for being "Overpowered by Funk" and seeking "Death Or Glory", I think many people are likely to take the safe option and not go so if you decide to assist you would be taking the "Train In Vain". "Groovy Times" will be surely had, maybe just not this time.

Narayan's picture

What would you think if it was you who had the respiratory issues and asked your wife not to go and she went regardless? I bet you might send her "Straight to Hell" for being "Overpowered by Funk" and seeking "Death Or Glory", I think many people are likely to take the safe option and not go so if you decide to assist you would be taking the "Train In Vain". "Groovy Times" will be surely had, maybe just not this time.

jamesgarvin's picture

From what I've read, the virus is spread by people who are symptomatic. I trust my fellow citizens to stay at home if they are exhibiting the effects of the virus. In addition, the medical community tells us that the fatalities occur within people in a weakened condition. I'm not in that group. I'm not going to stop living my life because of seventeen deaths across a land with millions of people. My rudimentary math skills tell me there is a greater likelihood of being killed in a car accident. But I continue to drive.

Jim Tavegia's picture

You might rethink the driving part. It is always the "other guy" who does not take precautions. Here, if you leave distance between you and the car in front, others think you left space for THEM and they pull in nearly cutting you off. This is Nascar country...go faster and turn left.

ashandger's picture

Incorrect information so humbly suggest you check again with more reliable sources.

PAR's picture

"the virus is spread by people who are symptomatic."

The virus can be spread by carriers who do not exhibit any symptoms ( or yet). Like Typhoid Mary back in time.

jamesgarvin's picture
horaciojervis's picture

I agree with some of the others, stay home, listen and kick out a bunch of record reviews. Stay safe.

gMRfk6LMHn's picture

but staying healthy (and alive)is more important. It would definitely be a no for me. All we can do is avoid large gathering and hope for the best. As someone has already said it is the 60 and upwards age group that is most at risk.

James, Dublin, Ireland.

amudhen's picture

Oh baby, please don't go...Oh baby please don't go!

davip's picture

Unfortunately it wasn't. Back on topic, if you go then you may contract, but there's plenty of chance to do so at home unless your quarantine. My gf's octogenarian snowbird father just came back from Singapore and I was ready to keep her away with a sharp stick, so unless you hide away it's impossible to avoid.

All of which is to say follow Joe's advice: If you go there may be trouble, but if you stay it could be double...

amudhen's picture

The number of virus cases will probably be much worse in April than they are now, so cancel out and chill at home with all you vinyl.

miguelito's picture

About whether the show is going to go or not?

bagheera_74's picture

Would love a video explaining the differences between MM and MC carts.

Anton D's picture

If your wife has strong feelings, go along with her wishes.

Spend the weekend making her favorite food and drink her favorite wine and celebrate how she supports all the other "hare brained" travel you get to do.

Plus, "Man Smart (Woman Smarter.)" (Robert Palmer did my favorite version, by the way, from "Some People Can Do What They Like.") If she feels bad juju, go with it.

Wishing you both the best.

Anton D's picture

If your wife has strong feelings, go along with her wishes.

Spend the weekend making her favorite food and drink her favorite wine and celebrate how she supports all the other "hare brained" travel you get to do.

Plus, "Man Smart (Woman Smarter.)" (Robert Palmer did my favorite version, by the way, from "Some People Can Do What They Like.") If she feels bad juju, go with it.

Wishing you both the best.

ashandger's picture

In Ireland majority of cases reported so far have contracted COVID-19 while travelling in Italy or in contact with someone from Italy. Lots and lots of great music to listen to at home.

shawnwes's picture

I'd go. Just don't shake hands and be careful what you touch. Don't touch your race & wash your hands frequently. The biggest issue is the flight but it's only in Philly so drive.

shawnwes's picture

You can drive home every night if you wanted to.

Grant M's picture

I would say to go to the show, but it won't matter because the odds are the show will get cancelled. There are many of these kinds of events being postponed, so if you're booking a flight right now for a month out, make sure you can reschedule it, don't buy a non-refundable ticket!!

otaku2's picture

Sounds like good advice to me.

Smokeyjoec's picture

It’s best they actually cancel the event. You should avoid highly populated places for now. Hopefully American Sound will have an event in the summer and this is all behind us and I see you again. Always great talking to you.


eugeneharrington's picture

I had the exact same dilemma regarding my attendance at this year’s High End in Munich and delayed making any bookings as a result. In the final analysis the decision was made for me because the High End Society in Germany cancelled the show this time last week. I think it is wiser to stay at home until there is a solution for this virus. It seems to be spreading rapidly with many people returning from Northern Italy testing positive for it. It seems to affect people over 60 more than younger people. I think what would firmly decide it for me, if I were in your shoes, is that your wife could be very badly affected if you were to travel and you brought back this nasty virus. People with underlying health issues such as as asthma and respiratory problems seem to be very vulnerable. There will be more shows but this year is a wipeout, I am afraid. Stay and keep we’ll!

rshak47's picture

and there are still many unknowns regarding the extent the virus has spread in the U.S. I would stay home.

shawnwes's picture

Stay home is the best choice with the possibility of giving it to someone with compromised system already.

JotiCover's picture

Your wife is correct and we all enjoy your work here. Working from home is best option.

Ortofan's picture

... being made, there's nothing that I'd be "dying" to see or hear.

So, stay at home, order in an Ortofon Omega and do a report describing what sort of performance is available from a $37 phono cartridge.

MalachiLui's picture

...and don’t wanna go to axpona, then just come here to portland. coronavirus hasn’t even reached the main city yet and oregon is containing it well so far. plus i prolly need a companion in the overnight rsd line for that cherry bomb vinyl.

Glotz's picture

I was like what the f..? And then I saw who wrote it.. Funny.

Using Analog Planet as your own IM platform! Smart...

MalachiLui's picture

since i posted that comment i found out that 4 cases have occurred in my county and that there’s a case in the town my dad works in... so don’t buy those plane tickets here just yet.

ArcAudio's picture

Two ways of looking at it (assuming event does not get cancelled)

1. If you are not high risk or have immune issues...go.....

2. On the other hand, your wife has issues and may be a high risk herself. Si if you bring something home that you don not realize you and your entire family will be asking....."why did I even go in the first place"

Glotz's picture

Better safe than sorry.

Thank you for the Stellar review... I purchased one as the trade-in value was through the roof! I have yet to listen to it as my cart is being rebuilt at SoundSmith.

I was also put on the Beta-test list for future products...
What a cool way for PS Audio to build loyalty!

Either way, thanks man and maybe I'll see you next year (if we're all!

Manimaldoug's picture

Don’t go.

Audio 1's picture

I decided not to go this year ..... just not worth the risk. Too many situations where you are forced to be close to groups of people. This is also a business decision for you, but your health and your wife’s health is what is most important.

Lemon Curry's picture

We're in uncharted territory. You've got to think about the impact if you bring it home. Let it be for a little while.

abelb1's picture

If you go and develop any symptoms, even a regular cold this could cause a lot of stress and hassle.

mraudio's picture

...Axpona will be cancelled this year.

anomaly7's picture

If you cancel I think the whole show will be canceled. I’ve never been but this year I’ve got my hotel, show tickets and plane tickets booked and my wife is meeting me after the show to do some Chicago sightseeing.
What is the difference in the odds of your catching the virus in NYC vs Chicago?

MrGneiss's picture


dg110233's picture


John G's picture

I think it will become more obvious what to do in a few more weeks. If the number of cases in the US double every six days we will be in the millions by early May. I’d wait it out a bit unless you need to cancel flights and hotels to get refunds.

alanrosen4's picture

CDC recommends people over 60 not get on airplanes. Mike, you still have a youthful appearance but judging from your music tastes you are over 60. Stay home! Most vendors and participants will end up not going. Also, if you leave the country you may have to quarantine when you get home! Not worth it. Time to listen to Jarrett's Sun Bear Concerts set!

khenegar's picture

My daughter and family had planned on going to Italy and canceled they have two teenagers and don’t want to risk getting them sick. It’s a shame they been planning this trip before the virus even came about.

jenkman's picture

My wife is in the medical field and is a Phd in Toxicologya and a masters in Microbiology. And we have a discussion every day about this. Your age group is at the highest risk for complications related to this virus. STAY HOME! If you notice the fatalties are folks over 60 years old. And they still do not know how long you can be a carrier of the virus before the symptons are noticed.

simes_pep's picture

There are valid reasons the Munich Show has been cancelled, along with Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona, and this weekend’s Ireland vs Italy 6 Nations Rugby. I would imagine St. Patrick’s Day parades will be cancelled, and the 1st 3 F1 Races (given Ferrari and other teams are from Northern Italy).
So stay home, review equipment & music, make more YouTube videos without risk.

Jancuso's picture

Michael; here too. My husband's like Sharon and, although I'm OK for an older gal, respiratory illness is not something I will risk bringing home. No travels, no large gatherings and strategic outings for groceries. We can already see that this illness is not a re-issue.
Stay home. I hope the Axpona organizers will see wisdom in cancelling this one.

Linmon's picture

Here is how I see it,

I am in my mid 50's and reasonably healthy. Yesterday I attended the HSBC Seven Rugby series games in Vancouver, BC where there were approx 40,000 people Without Fear. I analyzed the following before going, and yes, My wife was concerned before I went.

1) If you feel ill, stay home
2) If you are not healthy and ammune system is known to be weak, stay home
3) if you are a senior - now you have something to consider.
4) Wash hands for more than 20's seconds, if you have trouble counting, sing "Yankee doodle" twice or more.

My wife and I had plan to attend the Munich Hie-End Audio Show but cancelled, not as fear of travel, but as result that I feel that the show may have less manufacturers attending as "the Crowd" fear of this unfortunate outbreak. I will go next year instead when the dust settles.

It's up to you Michael, "WE LOVE YOU", and so does your close family, we wish all the best for your safety.

Is it worth the risk? - you are the only one to really answer that question as you know your own self best.

=== I would go if the turn out is worth while
=== I would stay if you feel that your health is weak.

Heck!, whats the big deal if you don't attend this year? there will always be shows to visit when the environment is safer.

I trust you will make the right decision.

garyalex's picture

If you think you're going to be figuratively looking over your shoulder every minute you're there I don't think you should go. You consistently do a stellar job in covering these events. If you don't think you can give it your usual focus and energy, don't go.

mixpro's picture

Well firstly if you book a ticket chances are very good you can change/save your ticket. United for one has announced any tickets bought now thru March 31(at least) are changeable with no fees.
Secondly, "Happy wife = happy life." Honor your lady's wishes in this case. There is more than a little hysteria going around, but better safe than sorry. You could do some more shoot-outs in the mean time.
And btw, that Clash song was written and sung by Mick Jones, as Joe Strummer would grumpily let you know were he still with us. That and "Train in Vain" were tunes Joe basically though were too lightweight for the band. (Joe's Mescaleros disks are worth exploring too.)
Thanks Michael for all you do.

Smatsui324's picture

Michael, since your wife doesn’t want you to go, don’t go. The US top expert for infectious disease, Anthony Fauci, recommends elderly people to think twice before traveling or circulating in crowds. Since a large percentage of attendees at Axpona are elderly, I think the organizers of Axpona should take Munich’s lead to cancel the show. I’ve attended Axpona 3 of the last 5 years and I bought a 3 day pass about 2 months ago. This week my wife asked me to cancel my plans and I’ve decided that she’s right. It doesn’t make sense to put my family at risk for the interest of my hobby.

xtcfan80's picture
xtcfan80's picture
ChrisM's picture

Kids don't get coronavirus, so send Malachi to do the report.
(Just kidding)

volvic's picture

Where this will go. We will have a better idea in two weeks time when data and testing is in full gear. It all depends how risk adverse you are. At this moment in time, if I were in your shoes I’d stay home. If you can hold off for two weeks then delay your decision till then.

tnargs's picture

Always do what's best for family.

Vinylghost's picture

Michael you're like old vinyl.
Worth too much to lose.

Bskeane's picture

Since you have the option stay. I am hoping the convention I have to attend at the end of march will get cancelled. Its doubtful because there is too much $$ at stake.
Don't take the chance. You could attend, contract the virus and show no signs but bring it back home with you. That's the scary part.

Fsonicsmith's picture

I predict the show will be postponed at a minimum, maybe cancelled.

JohnnyCanuck's picture

You're too valuable to us, Mikey.

xtcfan80's picture
xtcfan80's picture
mavmcl's picture

you are an old man, the virus is harder for old people.

OldschoolE's picture

While our media and government leaders are making a huge mountain and at the same time a mockery out of it, this virus is particularly hard on older folks and folks with compromised immune systems. Given your age Michael, I would strongly consider staying put.
Also what has not been mentioned is that with the ever changing news and such, there is a possibility Axpona may cancel itself all together. it seems to be the current trend with this thing.also, given your wife's condition and the fact that you could have the virus (could pick it up and not know it for weeks), it could come to bare on your wife sooner as well.

mcrushing's picture

I work in a different industry, but wrestling with the same dilemma about an industry function this weekend. I don't know if you're forfeiting any potential income by skipping it, but that I'd think would be a consideration. I'm fortunate not to have anyone with immune or respiratory issues in my house. If I did, I'd definitely skip it.

Listen to your wife, Mike!

If she's anything like mine, she's smarter than both of us.

padreken's picture

Were I in your situation, I’d at least consider staying home and not take a chance of putting your wife at risk (although realistically, every subway ride and/or trip to the market entails some small measure of risk). My wife and I have a music cruise coming up on April 1, and we’re going ahead with it-I’m more concerned with exposure during both the flights to and from Florida from SoCal and the possibility of quarantine than covid-19 itself. We’re both in our 60’s, but healthy and without any respiratory or immunodeficiency issues. The over 60 precaution guideline is, IMO, arbitrary in that it lumps those of us over 60 but are otherwise healthy in with the average overweight, pre-diabetic American that doesn’t eat right or exercise. I think the whole thing is being overblown by the 24 hour news cycle and social media overreaction.

orthobiz's picture

I was supposed to go to Scottsdale for a conference in two weeks. I bailed.


GeoMan's picture

I'm confused. We're told that this is a hobby full of men. But then I read about everyone scared of getting a "flu". 20,000 people die each year in this country from flu. If you're sick and have lung issues then of course you're going to stay home but luckily I'm healthy and hope to be enjoying the show next month. I'll probably not shake many hands and I will keep mine well washed throughout the day and risk it. If I get sick with Corona Virus I'll recover in a few days just like the vast majority of the people who get it. So let's rock on!

Narayan's picture

I hope come August things are going much better.

mraudio's picture
TeneoCWC's picture

This is Mrs. Mikey here. I just read all your comments. Thank you all for loving Michael as much as I do. Thank you also for agreeing with my admittedly selfish mindset that I could easily become sick upon his return from any travel in the next few months. Your input bolstered my position immeasurably. I will be working from home rather than in Manhattan for the foreseeable future. I promise I will lock him in his listening room and not let him out until he has reviewed a plethora of records and posted several more videos. It's the least I can do to thank you. Rock on!

seykayay's picture

All the best to you both!

Beverly William's picture


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