In case you haven’t noticed, the Omicron variant is ripping through New York City and many other places around the globe. On Sunday, the New York Times noted that the number of locals who tested positive for Covid-19 just broke a single day record with over 28,000 newly reported cases. Locals are reporting three-hour waits for Covid tests at urgent care, dozens of restaurants and bars have temporarily closed, office holiday parties are being canceled, and Broadway shows are being put on hold. Despite the sharp uptick in Covid-19 cases due to the Omicron strain in places like London, India, and more, some are blaming Miami Art Week, which lures New Yorkers in droves, as a superspreader event.
Centered around the marquee Art Basel Miami Beach and Design Miami fairs, the event held from Dec. 2-4 heralded a return to normalcy for an industry whose tolerance for virtual viewing rooms and Zoom cocktails has waned. (Surface was no exception, hosting several panel talks and dinners during the week.) Naturally, many attendees and artists noted they are now either quarantining or sick with Covid. “I attended Art Basel Miami and have tested positive for Covid, the travel blogger Kristi Vikman told Observer. “The only place that checked vaccination cards was the actual convention center [where Art Basel took place]. And masks were optional everywhere. Parties were packed. No sanitizer or masks to be seen.”