Category Archives: Pandemic Diary

Too Soon, Comic-Con

Earlier this week we were talking about cosplay ideas for when we can finally go back to comic conventions. Literally the next day, I read that LA Comic-Con is planning an in-person convention in December.

OH HELL NO!

I don’t care that they’re limiting attendance, requiring masks and distancing, and keeping it at the cavernous LA Convention Center. Knowing what we know now, December is going to be way too soon.

As much as we’ve learned about how this coronavirus spreads and attacks, and ways to mitigate both, the pandemic is not under control now. It’s not likely to be under control by December. Even if we were doing everything perfectly — and we aren’t, there are too many people in the US especially who think medical advice is for other people — there’d probably still be another wave this fall and winter.

“But what about a vaccine?” Heh. Sure. OK, a vaccine. Even if a Covid vaccine has passed through all the rushed trials by then, and actually works, it still takes time to ramp up production and distribution, and for actual doses to take effect, which means the general population is still going to be vulnerable in December, and this is a perfect super-spreader event. Assuming they don’t need to use the convention center as a field hospital again.

It’s kind of a Hail Mary anyway, since there’s no provision in the state’s reopening plan to re-allow that size of event even in the least-restricted tier based on case rates. They’re basically planning it in hopes that the rules will change by the time December rolls around.

But they’re selling tickets already. Without knowing whether they can hold the event. Which really rubs me the wrong way.

Honestly I’m not surprised that of the various LA-area cons it’s them that wants to jump the gun. They’ve always struck me as kinda snake-oily. The way they kept acting like other cons in the area didn’t exist. (What, Long Beach Comic Con? Please, they’re in Long Beach, not L.A.!) Paying Stan Lee to let them use his name back when it was Comikaze Expo. The worst was the reality show they had on SyFy back in 2013, which was at least a few years ago.

But selling tickets for a convention for winter during a pandemic when there’s no provision for actually holding a convention within public health recommendations? That might be a new low.

Update Oct. 14: The event is officially re-cancelled for the year, with some of the guests already scheduled for 2021. Tickets can optionally be refunded or saved for next year. The more I think about it, the more I think they were hoping to get at least some revenue in this year, even if it ends up being just a super-early pre-sale for next fall.

Wearing is Caring

Free-standing temporary sign on a sidewalk corner proclaiming WEARING IS CARING and showing two cartoon people, one with short hair and the other with long hair, wearing face masks covering their mouths and nose.

Every city around here has its own publicity and enforcement schemes for Covid-19 safety, though the criteria and general requirements are mostly decided at the county or state level. I haven’t gotten out to El Segundo much since the pandemic hit, so I hadn’t seen their “Wearing is Caring” slogan until this weekend.

We Dance Outside

A sign on a window for a dance class studio that says We Dance Outside with a picture of an awning set up in the parking lot.

When Covid-19 hit the area, a lot of arts lessons halted or went online. But it’s a bit tricky to do things like a dance class over Zoom. Back in June when I went hiking at the botanical gardens, I was there on the day that a local kids’ dance studio had set up a stage for their year-end recital. Outside. With minimal audience. And all the dancers at least six feet apart.

This one’s set up a semi-permanent tent in their parking lot (which you can see in the picture on the sign) so they can conduct lessons outdoors, where ventilation helps cut down on coronavirus transmission, with shade — because virus or not, it’s freaking California in summer. (Not that you can tell from the pall of smoke in this shot, because wildfire season is year-round now.)

It’s been really interesting to see how places have adapted (when they can, anyway) from squeezing as many people into an indoor space as possible, to trying to spread out safely and outdoors. Like the gym I’ve seen that set up their exercise equipment in the parking lot. Or all the restaurants that have fenced off parts of their lots to make temporary patios.

Though I still haven’t done even outdoor patio dining since this all started. You can dance with a mask on. You can shop with one. You can hang out and talk with one. But you can’t eat with one. Takeout is fine for now.

Be Like Spark

ead and shoulders of a cardboard cutout of Spark (Pokemon Go) with a pennant covering his mouth and nose like a bandana.

I walked by the kid’s room during this morning’s online school session and found that he’d set up the Spark standup (the Team Instinct leader) that he and Katie made for Pokémon Go Fest to block the doorway as if standing guard.

Fortunately, Spark is considerate enough to wear a face mask per pandemic recommendations.

Be like Spark. Not like Jessie and James. ‘Cause you know they’re only going to wear masks for disguise purposes.