I have argued in multiple posts that I think that the Spelling Bee contest is not a good use of young people’s intellect. The skills it teaches are not commensurable with the time, energy, and resources that the children’s families put into it. The format of the contest is not designed to even produce the best spellers, because luck plays a significant role in determining the final outcome. The contest is designed to produce TV drama (and ratings) by putting these young children under enormous pressure.
So I can’t say that I was sorry to hear that this year’s contest, like so many other events, has been cancelled. I do feel sorry for all those young people who had been devoting so much time to preparing for it because those who think that they can be winners pretty much give up everything else for years on end in pursuit of that goal. Perhaps being released from the pressure to memorize the spelling of obscure words will allow them to explore other areas of creativity and discover new pleasures in life. I hope so.
Will the Spelling Bee recover after social distancing ends and make a come back? Sadly, it seems likely because there is money in it.