AS I WRITE THIS, Dragon Con 2021 is winding down one of its strangest years on record, and one of its most joyously attended.
The convention managed to navigate a third wave of Covid-19 infections by implementing attendance caps, vaccination/testing requirements for admission, and general mask use for indoor events.
While none of these procedures could work as an absolute shield against the spread of Covid-19, they were sufficient to satisfy people who felt that they could navigate the convention safely.
My friends who decided to attend had a blast – I was glued to my phone all weekend following their adventures (mom is on an immunosuppressant so I decided to forego the festivities).
It was great seeing so many people being careful and having fun all weekend. A lot of attendees are now headed home with fond memories. A percentage of those folks will go home with Covid.
This person responsibly removed themselves from the convention as soon as they found out (this image was forwarded to me).
Prior to the convention my friend Don informed me that he was planning on being tested after Dragon Con, to ensure that he would not be spreading Covid to his local community upon his return.
I thought that was a brilliant idea.
So I reached out to a relative who administers Covid protocols for a large organization. They took time out of their schedule to discuss post-event testing with me. It turns out that they rely heavily on the Centers for Disease Control for guidance and provided me with several links, shared below.
CDC Recommendations for Large & Small Gatherings
Large gatherings bring together many people from multiple households in a private or public space. Large gatherings are often planned events with a large number of guests and invitations. They sometimes involve lodging, event staff, security, tickets, and long-distance travel. Large events might be events such as conferences, trade shows, sporting events, festivals, concerts, or large weddings and parties.
Know when to get tested!
The incubation period for Covid-19 is between 2 days and 2 weeks.
There are 2 different protocols for post-event testing, one for those who are fully vaccinated and another for those who have not been vaccinated or are still in the process of getting vaccinated.
- Get tested 3-5 days after the exposure, even if you don’t have any symptoms.
- Wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following the exposure or until your test result is negative.
- Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
- Watch for fever (100.4°F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
- If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.
Please note: if you get tested before incubation begins you risk missing detection of an infection, thus endangering people you know (especially the unvaccinated), so don’t get tested the same day you’re finished because that’s too soon.
Next Year, in Atlanta!
In hindsight, there is enough anecdotal evidence to demonstrate that vaccinated people have been contracting and transmitting the Delta variant (with reduced incidence). If testing is required again next year, Dragon Con could strengthen its protocols by requiring all attendees to submit a negative PCR test for admission.
But who knows what next year might bring? Let’s hope that Covid is in our taillights by Dragon Con 2022! MB18 to you all.
Note: I am not a medical professional and refuse to play one on television. Be careful what you touch.