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Aresef

To what extent could coronavirus impact the convention?

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I am not an epidemiologist and I don't know what the next few months bring. But coronavirus appears to be causing some long-term worries in Asia to the point that the Summer Olympics in Tokyo could be canned. We're also seeing companies like Sony scale back planned appearances at PAX East and AnimeJapan was scrapped. And then you have the entry procedures and policies for people coming to the US particularly from China and, without talking politics, that could easily be extended.

To what extent is Otakon preparing and to what extent could Otakon be impacted by hurdles, logistical or otherwise, created by the disease?

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Holy crap what a deep topic... I really hope Ota isn't cancelled but by then I think all this should be sorted out, or at least one would hope.

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While it's good to be aware of such things as "pandemics" etc, please remember that there are people working on this stuff around the clock (or at least I'd assume) and cons like our Otakon and ANYC are MONTHS upon MONTHS away... I'd hope and assume that the danger will have died down by then... This thread is honestly just fear mongering... @Aresef I know you mean well, but sadly that's what it's coming across as to at least some people I'm sure.

Edited by GasparAKAShiggitay

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As someone who works as a Medical Laboratory Scientist and has worked directly with blood samples being sent to the CDC for Coronavirus testing, I dont think its fear mongering, at all. I know we're having to process samples under a biohazard hood as well as taking extra precautions to prevent aerosols from potentially spreading/contaminating. A vaccine wont be available until the end of the year at the earliest and containment of the disease is gonna be reliant on all the world's governments doing what they're supposed to.

 

Personally, I dont think the issue is with the virus and its lethality. If you're healthy adult, most seem to be able to fight off the virus with no ill effects so far. The problem is that the virus is demonstrating to be easily transmittable and is able to survive outside the body for some time. This puts the young, elderly,  and immunocompromised at a high risk.

 

A decision on cancel public gatherings/cons is decision that obviously wont need to be made for a few months, like you said, but when cancelling Comiket and the Olympics are being talked about when those are months away, its definitely fair to discuss when Otakon will be happening during the same timeframe.

Edited by Hainiryuun
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I think part of the onus (there's your nickel word for the day) is on the attendee, with the focus on hygiene and health. The old Otakon handout had some of the following 'recommendations' (I don't remember full details, just the generalities.):

- Get a good night's sleep

- Eat at least one good meal a day

- Shower

I would add one that I've been guilty of: Go out for some fresh air. Last year on Saturday I went from around 8 AM to 6 PM without leaving the convention center and/or the hotel. (I got the Mariott, so I never had to leave.)

I also have been taking things like Cold Eeze, etc. the past few years to help boost my chances of not getting the Con Plague. I'd say it's worked well enough, as I haven't caught it in several years.

 

All told, we can only wait and see what Otakon does and go from there. I'll hold off getting my Amtrak tickets until I see something definite, however.

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If the COV-ID situation gets so bad that events that are 5 months out are still getting cancelled, then getting my fix of anime will be the least of my concerns.  Keep in mind that governments are taking extreme precautions now to get the situation under control quickly, especially in Japan where they very much need to be medically cleared ASAP for all that Olympics tourism revenue.

I think the biggest impact is the availability of overseas guests since any kind of negotiation is going to have to wait until the virus is under control.  We're definitely going to see an Dub Industry-centric Otakon this year.

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7 hours ago, DeathJester said:

If the COV-ID situation gets so bad that events that are 5 months out are still getting cancelled, then getting my fix of anime will be the least of my concerns.  Keep in mind that governments are taking extreme precautions now to get the situation under control quickly, especially in Japan where they very much need to be medically cleared ASAP for all that Olympics tourism revenue.

I think the biggest impact is the availability of overseas guests since any kind of negotiation is going to have to wait until the virus is under control.  We're definitely going to see an Dub Industry-centric Otakon this year.

To your point, logistics might be a hurdle. I know United just temporarily cut Japan service. Hopefully, this can all blow over in a matter of weeks and not months.

I'm not trying to spread hysteria. I think these are legitimate questions.

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2 hours ago, Clutch said:

Let's hope the only Pandemic you encounter is from Accept. 😀

 

Pish tosh, another acceptable form is from Zman Games:

zm7101_collection.png

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41 minutes ago, j-train1 said:

Yup. So many butthurt people on FaceBook when the announcement dropped.. Good lord.

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On 3/19/2020 at 7:40 PM, GasparAKAShiggitay said:

Yup. So many butthurt people on FaceBook when the announcement dropped.. Good lord.

Seems kinda odd, considering that people were disappointed but understanding when Anime Boston cancelled. Different crowd, I guess?

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Honestly I will be pleasantly surprised if Otakon actually happens this year. Even if the pandemic begins to subside by the summer, there is still a huge risk factor and a chance of a temporary resurgence of the illness as people begin to go back to their daily lives and interact with one another. For now I'm banking on Nekocon in November. 

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To your point, Liberty University could face lawsuits after students tested positive there, a development anybody could see coming when they announced they were reopening.

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AnimeNEXT, a mid-to-large size convention that takes place in Atlantic City in June, just cancelled. Otakon is now the next convention on my schedule. I've lost three... Zenkaikon, Sakura-Con, and AnimeNEXT. Honestly, I'm hoping for the best, but getting prepared for the worst. There's a strong chance that Otakon is likely to be cancelled, as sad as that sounds. I would be disappointed, but understanding and not surprised. While I hope it doesn't have to be, I know that the Board is doing their best to figure out their own next steps. I just hope that this wave of necessary cancellations doesn't decimate the convention world. Many of our fan-run anime conventions are run by non-profit organizations that operate with minimal margins, and skipping a year can sometimes be devastating for them. Fingers crossed that the community comes out of this okay.

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AnimeNEXT, a mid-to-large size convention that takes place in Atlantic City in June, just cancelled. Otakon is now the next convention on my schedule. I've lost three... Zenkaikon, Sakura-Con, and AnimeNEXT. Honestly, I'm hoping for the best, but getting prepared for the worst. There's a strong chance that Otakon is likely to be cancelled, as sad as that sounds. I would be disappointed, but understanding and not surprised. While I hope it doesn't have to be, I know that the Board is doing their best to figure out their own next steps. I just hope that this wave of necessary cancellations doesn't decimate the convention world. Many of our fan-run anime conventions are run by non-profit organizations that operate with minimal margins, and skipping a year can sometimes be devastating for them. Fingers crossed that the community comes out of this okay.

AB talked about that when they canceled. The reason they waited until the governor of Massachusetts issued his order on large events was because if they canceled before then, they’d be on the hook with the venue, vendors etc. and it could have bankrupted their organization.

And it’s not just the smaller cons. The most recent 990 I could find for Otakorp was filed for the FY ending October 2018. They reported nearly $408,000 in the bank. They pulled in $2.88 million in revenue... but spent $2.72 million to run Otakon and Otakon Vegas. They had actually lost more than $800,000 over the previous two fiscals—that’s presumably why Otakon Vegas had to go. And these aren’t state secrets. You can look Otakorp up on ProPublica’s database. The point is damn near every dime goes into running the con and if they canceled at a time that would leave them holding the bag, well, that’s just not going to happen.
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On 3/31/2020 at 12:00 AM, Aresef said:


AB talked about that when they canceled. The reason they waited until the governor of Massachusetts issued his order on large events was because if they canceled before then, they’d be on the hook with the venue, vendors etc. and it could have bankrupted their organization.

And it’s not just the smaller cons. The most recent 990 I could find for Otakorp was filed for the FY ending October 2018. They reported nearly $408,000 in the bank. They pulled in $2.88 million in revenue... but spent $2.72 million to run Otakon and Otakon Vegas. They had actually lost more than $800,000 over the previous two fiscals—that’s presumably why Otakon Vegas had to go. And these aren’t state secrets. You can look Otakorp up on ProPublica’s database. The point is damn near every dime goes into running the con and if they canceled at a time that would leave them holding the bag, well, that’s just not going to happen.

Otakon Vegas was a bad idea from day one.

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