What freelancers need to know about coronavirus

With tens of thousands of cases in more than 100 countries and Facebook memes traveling faster than the speed of light, the coronavirus outbreak seems to be the only thing people are talking about right now.

But what does it mean for your work as a freelancer?

If you work from home, the recommendation to practice “social distancing” probably just sounds like business as usual. You may already conduct most of your client meetings virtually and collaborate via tools like Slack and Google Docs—now everyone else is just catching up to you.

Right now, the biggest economic threat is to those in the events, travel, and hospitality industries, where large gatherings of people are the norm. As events coordinators work to comply with health officials’ recommendations (and limit the negative PR that could come from a spike in cases), major conferences are being canceled or postponed every day—with lost income already reported to be more than $1 billion. So far, South by Southwest, Google I/O, and Mobile World Congress have been scrapped, while the massive 30,000-attendee Game Developers Conference is indefinitely postponed.

There’s no telling at this point how long this outbreak will last, so if you’ve got an event on the

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