I’m inclined to continue experimenting post-pandemic to lessen the chance of experiencing con crud. Even in a post-pandemic world, Covid-19 isn’t going away.
By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Ever since the pandemic hit, I wanted a reusable mask instead of having disposable ones nearby. Amazon is still rife with tons of sellers because some parts of the world are still in lockdown or very slow in vaccinating their populace. As the Summer season is in full swing and people are hankering to travel, just where folks can go depends on whether border restrictions have eased. Some countries have physical comic book shows going on, but if people can’t get there from afar, there’s nothing anyone can do but wait or have proof of being vaccinated. Most operations are still asking that people wear a face covering.
The delta variant is concerning. I don’t see an immediate future where masks aren’t mandatory. I predict mask usage will be required at indoor events–especially conventions and concerts–for the rest of the year. As for what brand I’ll be using, that’s still up in the air.
The only safe events are the online ones where a webcam is required. While it’s good for fans wanting to meet guests, the experience is not perfect. It lacks a certain “real life” magic that these conventions are known for, including the fun silly randomness which occurs in the show floor.
By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Usually around this time, I’d be planning (or have attended) a pop culture convention by now. Emerald City Comic Con may run their 2021 event at the end of the year, but by then, are we sure it’ll happen when information of COVID-19 variants is the new concern? We’re in a pandemic, and although a vaccine is available, it’s not guaranteed to completely placate the virus. LiveScience published an article explaining how they work. People can still be carriers and not show any symptoms.
Plus, not everyone are able to get the shot right away. The rollout will target particular public health sectors first, before the public, and most regular joes–the fandom–is last in line. Changes to these events are expected because any show that doesn’t incorporate safety measures as a precaution is not only hazardous to everyone’s health but also a breeding ground for another wave.
As much as I like to resume that life of an avid con goer in a normally busy month of March, I don’t see myself feeling comfortable being at one unless these events invest in “the new norm” which includes plexiglass barriers to put between fans, dealers and guests along with many sanitizing stations. Whether that’s with ultraviolet portals to pass through or a table with cleansing dispensers, it won’t be enough. The shows that want to take place sooner than later may include waivers for everyone to impress their fingerprint upon so that the company can’t be sued if an attendee gets sick.
Interest in fashionable nerdy face masks is now the norm. While they are easier to find in Asia than America, all anyone has to do is look at Soranews for the latest trends or even Etsy to get a customized face wear. Even Kotaku has an article on how these face masks are sparking creativity amongst those who know how. Whether that’s with a solid piece of plastic with a 3D printer or something sewn, are they really needed?
When Disney, Chaosium Games and Inked Gaming is also getting on board, buyers really have to remember these customized face wear products are not medically certified. There’s still a chance of catching covid-19 if these fabric masks are not properly washed. The good is that part of the money made is going into a charity, the bad, they aren’t anything special to make the wearer feel protected.
No new date is likely to be announced until the coronavirus situation is in control. This news follows in a huge string of announcements from major shows (Emerald City Comic Con, South by Southwest, Tribeca Film Festival and etc) that are not even local. With one case confirmed on the island, it’s enough reason for the organizers to act.
They also cited the Screen Actors Guild advising its members “that it would be in their best interest to cease flying for the foreseeable future.” Until the coronavirus threat is in control, nearly all events this month and perhaps next are not likely to take place.