Gen Con Contact Tracing

Friday, August 12, 2022

Paizo Gen Con 2022 Wall of Flip Mats

Hello GenCon friends and attendees!

Last week was a very eventful GenCon 2022, and we were delighted to see so many familiar and new masked faces this year! It was great to be back at the booth alongside our Organized Play team running delves, scenarios, and specials in the Sagamore Ballroom once again! Reuniting with so many amazing members of the community was a much-needed boost to all our spirits.

But in-person conventions are not without challenges right now, and there have been several reports of COVID-19 infections among attendees. GenCon staff have asked anyone who attended the show and tested positive to send an email to customerservice@gencon.com for contact tracing. We’d also like to take this opportunity to remind you of our #contact-tracing channel in the Paizo Events Discord server for more up-to-date contact tracing information. It’s been a few days since GenCon has ended, but we encourage everyone to test and take care of themselves. Washington state residents can get free kits by mail at this site, all US residents can get tests at this site, and further guidance is available at the CDC’s website.

Thanks and take care,

-The Paizo Team

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Tags: Community Conventions Gen Con Paizo

4 people marked this as a favorite.

This is the second time this has happened.

Not related to this particular convention, but related in concept: This happened to one of my colleagues who attended a scientific convention.

I think that the take-home message is that it is too early to start having in-person meetings.

Also too early to drop mask mandates (I don't know what was the case at this convention, but this has been happening all over the country, including the CDC's change of recommendations). I think the Kasatha are on to something.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

There were in fact signs urging everyone to wear masks at GenCon


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UnArcaneElection wrote:


I think that the take-home message is that it is too early to start having in-person meetings.

What will change if we wait a year?


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:


I think that the take-home message is that it is too early to start having in-person meetings.

What will change if we wait a year?

The virus might recede. The Black Death in the middle ages eventually ran its course and weakened enough to cause it to be a problem.


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Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:


I think that the take-home message is that it is too early to start having in-person meetings.

What will change if we wait a year?
The virus might recede. The Black Death in the middle ages eventually ran its course and weakened enough to cause it to be a problem.

Also the Oklahoma flu pandemic of 1918 eventually receded after a few years.


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Right, but we still have the flu, the black death was still around (and still is) just at lower levels.

Sure, it MIGHT get better than it is now. But I don't think the preponderance of the evidence is in favor of any kind of big change from here on out. I think we've hit the new normal.


^Bubonic Plague went down to MUCH LOWER levels. The COVID-19 pandemic isn't just smoldering, it's still glowing a sullen orange.


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UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Bubonic Plague went down to MUCH LOWER levels. The COVID-19 pandemic isn't just smoldering, it's still glowing a sullen orange.

What level of improvement are you expecting over what time frame?


BigNorseWolf wrote:
I think we've hit the new normal.

Here's a genuine question for you:

What deaths-per-day number would it take for you to consider "I should wear a mask in crowded environments" a sensible new normal?

Because I agree. We've hit the new normal.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

That's two questions really.

"have the number of deaths and serious illnesses per day leveled off"

and

"How effective are masks?" or rather "how effective are a random assortment of masks of different fit and quality worn by untrained individuals over 14 hour days for an activity that involves a lot of talking "


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I wasn't at GenCon or any other similar event, but I'm home sick with Corona right now. I'm vaxxed and boosted, young and fit, but it still kicked my ass for a few days. Not really a huge deal for me, but it would have been really rough for the 80-90 year-olds I occasionally work for, or my parents. Trust me, you DON'T want this!

I should also point out that there is a lot more to Corona's impact than just a body count. Looking into the long term health effects is pretty scary. The shocking number of "long-haulers" who suffer extended or permanent physical and mental effects is going to have ramifications for all of society.

I think there are many common sense options for making events safer that are not nearly as extreme as total cancellation. And remember, it is not just those attending, but also working and volunteering at such events as well. For many, it isn't really a choice to be there, it is a job requirement.

Just off the top of my head, it would be a good idea to have some sort of mechanism in place for people who get sick right before or during the event. Maybe a free pass for next year if you have to bail for medical reasons. It would also make sense to avoid dense crowds, and for situations like autograph sessions, have the signer stay behind glass from the (spaced out) lines of people. No handshakes or other contact.

I was just a kid when the Aids crisis really hit, but even I could see that our societies response of mostly just ignoring it was horrible. No one likes masks, distancing etc., but the sooner we make some small adjustments to the way we do things, the faster all this s~%! can be basically put behind us!


3 people marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
That's two questions really.

So no, there isn't. Got it.

Quote:
"have the number of deaths and serious illnesses per day leveled off"

Not acceptable. If the number of deaths and serious illnesses per day leveled off at 4 billion per day, that'd make you happy because it was level? Come on. Number per day.

Quote:
"How effective are masks?" or rather "how effective are a random assortment of masks of different fit and quality worn by untrained individuals over 14 hour days for an activity that involves a lot of talking "

The first version of this questions wasn't unreasonable. The second one was just spin, trying to explain why your answer to my question is "no" without using that word.

Still.

Random assortment means some of them are better and some are worse. You're inviting that mask-use should have technical standards, where only proper ones are allowed. Sold.

Untrained individuals. You're inviting that people should be educated how to wear them. Sold.

For an activity that involves a lot of talking. Now you landed at a GenCon-specific argument. The original question you dodged was "in a crowded environment" but it's understandable to tunnel-vision it down to "at a con". You're inviting that in crowded environments where you don't talk all day mask-wearing is sensible and beneficial, thus maybe events like cons shouldn't be part of the new normal. Sold.


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I got COVID at the beginning of June (was vaxed and boosted, but didn't yet have access to a 2nd booster, as I was 49 at the time). It sucked, but between vaccinations and taking Paxlovid, it wasn't worse for me than a bad cold. As long as that is the case for most people, I don't think we can expect a change in behavior. People are just...done with masks and staying home. :(


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Anguish wrote:

Not acceptable. If the number of deaths and serious illnesses per day leveled off at 4 billion per day, that'd make you happy because it was level? Come on. Number per day.[/b]

"have we hit the new normal" is about the number per day.

"Should we have a con or not" is about the risk to the participants and those around them. If a disease killed 10,000 people per day but ALL of them were unvaccinated then there's little reason the vaccinated can't get together.

Quote:
The first version of this questions wasn't unreasonable. The second one was just spin, trying to explain why your answer to my question is "no" without using that word.

There's both a yes and a no, and it's not spin. It's consideration. Many of the studies on the effectiveness of masking come under a very stringent set of circumstances (Doctors, trained people, M 95 masks, fitted to the person, no beards...) and their effectiveness would be greatly reduced in a convention setting.

On the other hand, since much of the spread is by water droplets, they might work better for people that are talking a lot rather than just sitting there doing paperwork.

I do lean more towards the idea that the masks don't do much under reasonable public use at this point, so there isn't much point in requiring them.

It is entirely possible to consider that there is evidence for and against a position.

Quote:
Random assortment means some of them are better and some are worse. You're inviting that mask-use should have technical standards, where only proper ones are allowed.

That's definitely A reasonable conclusion.

Quote:
Untrained individuals. You're inviting that people should be educated how to wear them. Sold.

Couldn't hurt, but This one I don't expect to go anywhere. The level of consciousnesses to NOT do things like rub your eyes or adjust the mask in 8 hours while doing something else is more than you're going to get out of JOhn Q public.

I know I am actually terrible about this sort of thing (as any number of substances I've had on my hands winding up in my eyes can attest...)

Quote:
For an activity that involves a lot of talking. Now you landed at a GenCon-specific argument.
Quote:
The original question you dodged was "in a crowded environment"

It's all a gaming convention specific discussion. Crowded is simply a given in that context, not a dodge.

Quote:
but it's understandable to tunnel-vision it down to "at a con".

... Yes. Since.. that's kind of the entire context for the conversation.

(Also the only reason I go into a crowd...They're full of people)


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Mandatory masking reduces the number of transmissions, even if most people don’t don and doff properly and reuse masks or otherwise undermine their utility.

It’s a population protective measure, not an individual one. The much vaunted “they don’t work” arguments are all about protecting the wearer. They’ve clearly and consistently been shown reduce the number of people who get infected.

Expert opinion is ridiculously united, given how divisive the topic is in the general population. A sure sign there’s a right and a wrong answer.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

The official policy of GenCon was that everyone had to wear a mask so I don't know what you're trying to argue here.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Either. The efficacy of masks isn't germane to the topic.


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BUT FREEDOM *wraps himself in Amurican flag, grabs an AR-15" MUH FREEDOM TO DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE


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Fergie wrote:

{. . .}

I should also point out that there is a lot more to Corona's impact than just a body count. Looking into the long term health effects is pretty scary. The shocking number of "long-haulers" who suffer extended or permanent physical and mental effects is going to have ramifications for all of society.
{. . .}

This is something that people pay a lot less attention to than they should.

Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
BUT FREEDOM *wraps himself in Amurican flag, grabs an AR-15" MUH FREEDOM TO DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

That is distressingly familiar . . . .

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