When Conventions Happen Again...
This is a really rough subject for a lot of folks, especially since most of us haven't been able to attend a convention for over a year at this point. My last convention (attendance or vending) was Daishocon 2019. So I'm itching to get back into my uncomfy cosplays, hug my friends, and take 8 billion photos. But before that, we have to remember to be safe. Like many Americans, I am actually high risk. Due to psoriasis -which is an auto-immune disorder- I have to be extremely careful with who and how I interact with folks. Listed below are a few ways we can stay safe and have a fun, healthy weekend of nerdom.
Continuing to wear a mask. Most of us are cosplayers, so it's super easy to integrate a mask into the costume. I, for one, know that for my blue dress Tiana, that I'm going to make a matching mask to go with the dress, made from the very same fabric I'm making with the costume. It's super easy, and only takes a few inches of scraps, so you're not needing to buy a whole other yard. There's also plenty of characters that already wear masks, so there's no need to complain about "accuracy." I know that I'm a stickler for detail, but being safe by wearing your mask is most important. I'd rather see folks at the next convention, even with half their face covered, than at their funeral.
2. Continue to maintain social distancing practices. It's super important to remember to distance yourself to the best of your ability. Hopefully, most large conventions won't take place for the foreseeable future, but we can't always guarantee that as city and state guidelines continue as they are. Specifically, there's a convention I love so much that wants to postpone or cancel again this year and they can't because the city refuses to limit gatherings. So the convention must continue, or face 10s of thousands of dollars in legal fees. So if you do decide to go to conventions, please remember to wash your hands, maintain social distancing, and please PLEASE don't go if you aren't feeling well.
3. If you can, get vaccinated. I know currently, in the state of Illinois that they are only vaccinating essential workers, and are discussing opening to "Non-essential" folks come early summer. There's also no guarantee for when they will actually allow that, and essential is such an odd term. How do we determine who is essential and who is not? I know for one, that I'm not essential. I'm not claiming that I am, but folks who have had to continue working and putting themselves at risk over 40 hours a week, every week, since March, absolutely, POSITIVELY, deserve to be vaccinated, for free, and given their celebratory drink of choice. One day, I'll be able to get vaccinated, but until then, I continue to hole myself up in my sewing room and push out as many kigus in a week as I can.
4. Shower. This is both a convention rule before and after COVID. Just shower. It cleans your skin of any possible pathogens, as well as makes you smell good. I personally stopped showering as frequently so I wouldn't go out, and when I did, if you got too close to smell me, you were too close and needed to step back. I think smarter, not harder with this one.
5. Remember to eat enough. The reason con plague is sooooo rampant in the community is that folks didn't eat enough. They didn't drink enough water, and they either didn't bathe enough, or they were around someone who decided that even though they had a cold/flu/etc, that they could *NOT* miss this event and got too close. When you don't have enough nutrients, your body can't maintain enough anti-bodies to fight off infection, thus, con plague. So please remember the golden rule: 6/3/1. 6 hours of sleep, 3 square meals, and a shower each day. I just don't want to see anyone getting sick off something that can be prevented.
I hope to see you folks one day soon, in uncomfortable cosplay, with a ton of nerd swag, and not in front of a computer screen. Until that day, please stay safe.