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Will you be comfortable to attend an "in person" con this year (2021)?


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Hi All!

   I'm just curious what everyone thinks about this. I mean, there are already cons that are either being canceled, postponed, or going virtual again at least for the first half of the year. I would like to assume that they may be a chance that enough people will be vaccinated for Covid-19 by the second half of the year. Then maybe, the powers to be will give the ok to resume large gatherings, again.  

 

    The big question is: Will you be comfortable to attend?

 

The cons that I attend, AnimeNEXT already announced they're going "virtual" this year. I give Otakon live a very slim chance to happen this year. New York Comic Con and Anime-NYC has a much better chance to happen since it's going to be on the last quarter of the year.

 

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After I'm vaccinated, sure. I'm in phase 2 so it shouldn't be that long.

That being said, and I've talked about this a bit in the Discord, it's not really up to me or us otaku or even Otakorp whether these cons can all go on. It's all dependent on the facts on the ground and the restrictions the District has in place (not to mention whatever travel restrictions remain in place on a regional, national or international level). One of my cons set for June in Los Angeles punted to August 2022 because there just wasn't any other option. And it's not even that big an event.

And then you have the no man's land of, you know, let's say WEWCC is open but they have to cap attendance at 20,000 or something. All of a sudden the math starts to fall apart. I don't speak for Otakon, obviously, but I know that they're thinking through the what if's.

I think it'll be a while before big cons like Ota and Mag and SDCC and AX and Anime NYC are really feasible again. I'm hoping to go to Otakon this year. I miss my friends. But I'm not getting my hopes up.

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On 1/21/2021 at 7:34 PM, Daniel Perales said:

I hope I get vaccinated myself by then as well.

I don't plan on it unless I'm forced to in order to attend a convention and if that happens, then I might just ditch cons entirely.  My job exposes me to covid hazards every day and I haven't had so much as a sniffle since this whole thing started. Both my wife and mother-in-law got it and were asymptomatic. I was tested and came back negative.   Maybe I'm lucky and my cells are hard at work. Who knows.

I think the entire convention industry is going to undergo a massive "reboot" after this pandemic scales down. I personally don't think large fan-run cons like Otakon will survive in their current form, if at all, and the smaller ones like Nekocon will pick up the remains.  I hope I'm wrong but it looks like the direction we're headed in.

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On 1/28/2021 at 10:57 AM, KyoKyo said:

I think the entire convention industry is going to undergo a massive "reboot" after this pandemic scales down. I personally don't think large fan-run cons like Otakon will survive in their current form, if at all, and the smaller ones like Nekocon will pick up the remains.  I hope I'm wrong but it looks like the direction we're headed in.

Yeah, and I think that after the fires are put out, we'll figure out what conventions look like going forward. I think we've seen the end of shoulder-to-shoulder dealer's rooms and any kind of raves for at least the next few years or more. But I don't think a lot of smaller cons are long for this world either. Look at what the prospect of two years sidelined could do to Otakon. MAGFest is hurting. Katsucon is hurting. AUSA's venue no longer exists.

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  • 1 month later...

For me it depends on how much scientists know by then about the vaccine's effectiveness. Ill be getting my 2nd shot in a couple of weeks but the cdc still doesnt know how long the vaccine's protection lasts and if you can still catch spread covid-19 despite now being protected from the worse of it. Which is important cause I know not all con-goers are willing to be vaccinated (such as my friends).  I dont wanna bring danger to myself & to family back home.

I havent been to Otakon since 2017 cause I really disliked the new location. Early 2020 I told myself id give it another go and was really excited. Then pandemic happened.  I hope to god that the vaccine works out in general and that Otakon will be able to live on.

Edited by Nycanimechick
Grammer
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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

I see that most cons that are held from August 2021 on are a go so far. But, like the original question remains: Will people feel comfortable to attend one?

New York Comic Con recently made an announcement that they will resume with a live event this year, but it will also be supplemented with their own "virtual" version at the same time. Also, they said that they're going to limit  the attendance for their live version. This can change.

Anime-NYC also made an announcement that they too are resuming their live event.

Anyway, I've already heard from some of my friends and acquaintances that happens to be staunch con-goers has already mentioned that they're done with cons. They no longer have that "itch" to attend to one like they did, before. This pandemic basically showed them that they really don't miss cons once they took a break from them.

I've been attending cons since the early 1990s and seen that a generation of attendees are always replaced by the next. So the next question is: Will the present and/or next generation will keep these cons alive? I probably make a separate thread about that one.

   

Edited by Daniel Perales
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Myself and my friends are all vaccinated and will attend if they hold the convention this year. For context, I am a respiratory therapist that has been taking care of critical Covid patients in one of the nation's hotspots since last March. If I was not vaccinated or if I was immuno-compromised it would be tougher to make that decision. 

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I have been fully immunized for about 1.5 months now, so I'll be fine for both Otakon and Awesomecon a couple of weeks later.

However, my certainty has been leaning towards Awesomecon than Otakon, with a number of factors contributing to it. Among the two main ones:

  1. Awesomecon is going to be a day trip for me (one where I can easily get to the convention center via the Green Line after spending Winter 2020 getting used to the Metro via some classes to get my A+ certification) whereas I'd be staying in the DC area for Otakon (which could mean a bigger risk for me).
  2. Awesomecon has been showing that it's going full steam ahead whereas Otakon has been awfully quiet in terms of the convention front.
Edited by TnAdct1
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I've been fully vaccinated since January. I'll be there. Cons are my opportunity to see my online friends and buy a bunch of stuff, so even if there is reduced amount of guests/panels, I won't really be too upset.

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If Otakon mandates vaccines like Blerdcon, I'm wondering if they will offer refunds for those who have already pre-registered but will not be vaccinated. 

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I just got my second vaccine last week and I do really want to go if the con happens, but will want to see what precautions are in place.

Awesome Con has announced the following:

  • Required use of masks within the Walter E. Washington Convention Center
  • Enhanced sanitization stations and cleaning protocols throughout the event
  • Increased spacing with wider aisles, designated entrances, and directional signage to ensure social distancing in all areas of the event on the show floor, panels, meeting rooms and public spaces
  • Ongoing updates on queueing procedures and capacity reduction measures for higher traffic periods over the weekend
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2 hours ago, Hainiryuun said:

VA and Maryland are both dropping their mask mandates tomorrow, so will be interesting to see if DC follows suit

Sort of. The indoor mask mandate will still be in place in MD until 70% of adults are vaccinated according to Hogan.

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2 hours ago, KyoKyo said:

Sort of. The indoor mask mandate will still be in place in MD until 70% of adults are vaccinated according to Hogan.

And then there's my county.... MoCo...whom are pretty much against anything Hogan decides....it's gotten to the point I've personally stopped paying attention to all Covid-related announcements regarding restrictions etc. unless MoCo says so....(says someone who formerly caught every single covid-related press conference from every leader in the area)

Sorry, I digress though, carry on.

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2 hours ago, KyoKyo said:

Sort of. The indoor mask mandate will still be in place in MD until 70% of adults are vaccinated according to Hogan.

https://www.baltimoresun.com/coronavirus/bs-md-hogan-masks-friday-20210514-jgw7bvj2qbcnlnczn4xwz6beda-story.html

 

To quote from the article:

"Starting Saturday, Marylanders no longer need to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in most settings, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Friday evening.

Masks still will be required on public transportation and in schools, airports, day care centers and health care facilities, such as hospitals and doctors’ offices. Local governments and individual businesses can opt to keep mask requirements in place."

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10 hours ago, Hainiryuun said:

To quote from the article:

"Starting Saturday, Marylanders no longer need to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in most settings, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Friday evening.

Masks still will be required on public transportation and in schools, airports, day care centers and health care facilities, such as hospitals and doctors’ offices. Local governments and individual businesses can opt to keep mask requirements in place."

Interesting. I had heard on WJZ that the indoor mandate would be lifted once the state reached 70%. Didn't realize it had gotten that high that quickly. 

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EDIT:  Seems Maryland has not reached the 70% threshold yet but rather according to WJZ:

Hogan announced earlier this week that he would lift all capacity restrictions at businesses around the state on Saturday, but said the indoor mask mandate would remain until 70% of the adult population received at least one dose of the vaccine. However, he changed his mind following the CDC announcement."

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  • 2 weeks later...

It took me awhile to get an appointment for my vaccinations, but now that I'm fully vaccinated (with a vacc record card as proof if necessary), I should be ok with attending conventions.  (Haven't traveled out of state since before the outbreak though so I'll keep a mask just incase)

 

Fully investing in attending a convention.... I wanted to be certain first there was going to be an in-person convention.  Last I checked, Anime NYC is planning to have their convention so I'm ready for that one.  Waiting for official confirmation from Otakon before going all in. 

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17 hours ago, lightningneko said:

It took me awhile to get an appointment for my vaccinations, but now that I'm fully vaccinated (with a vacc record card as proof if necessary), I should be ok with attending conventions.  (Haven't traveled out of state since before the outbreak though so I'll keep a mask just incase)

My 2 weeks post 2nd shot just happened this past Saturday, so I'm good to go. (My friends and I are actually meeting physically for the first time in forever this week.) I have the card, but they recommended keeping a picture of it on your camera in case it's needed. Likewise, I haven't been out of state since before the lockdown started. (This shocked the heck out of me when I actually realized it.)

17 hours ago, lightningneko said:

Fully investing in attending a convention.... I wanted to be certain first there was going to be an in-person convention.  Last I checked, Anime NYC is planning to have their convention so I'm ready for that one.  Waiting for official confirmation from Otakon before going all in. 

I've been waiting on getting Amtrak tickets until go / no go is official. Good news is that the Acela is the same price now as coach tickets were normally. (Non-refundable, though.)

As I said 5 months ago: image.png

Though it's looking far better than it did then. Here's hoping.

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18 hours ago, lightningneko said:

It took me awhile to get an appointment for my vaccinations, but now that I'm fully vaccinated (with a vacc record card as proof if necessary), I should be ok with attending conventions.  (Haven't traveled out of state since before the outbreak though so I'll keep a mask just incase)

 

Fully investing in attending a convention.... I wanted to be certain first there was going to be an in-person convention.  Last I checked, Anime NYC is planning to have their convention so I'm ready for that one.  Waiting for official confirmation from Otakon before going all in. 

I feel more optimistic about Otakon as the date draws closer. I've already posted in another thread that both New York Comic Con and Anime-NYC is a go.

Anyway, I'm going to keep my mask on me just in case. Not just for Otakon, but for Amtrak (we may still have to wear them on the train by then).

 

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On 5/25/2021 at 8:26 AM, Daniel Perales said:

I feel more optimistic about Otakon as the date draws closer. I've already posted in another thread that both New York Comic Con and Anime-NYC is a go.

Anyway, I'm going to keep my mask on me just in case. Not just for Otakon, but for Amtrak (we may still have to wear them on the train by then).

 

Yeah the CDC says we have to wear masks on public transit (bus/train/plane etc) but everywhere else it's up to the establishment. Maybe by August it'll get better? Maybe a hint of herd immunity? IDK... We shall see.

Re: AnimeNYC I'm poised to go if I end up not going to Ota (well I'll go to both if I end up going to Ota but yeah). By then it should be waaay better. Re: NYCC? It can go DIAF.

Edited by GasparAKAShiggitay
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  • 2 weeks later...

So as I said on the Otakon Unofficial Discord Server (of which y'all should totally join pre-Ota and just overall https://discord.gg/wjrfMbH): 

"Holy crap... Reading up on the cleaning tech the WEWCC installed makes me REALLY wanna attend this year!! It feels like it'd potentially be "COVID-free" (notice I have it in quotations cuz we'll never be fully COVID-free, at least not for a long time) during the con!"

I'm giving myself this weekend to fully decide (since this weekend is the badge mailing deadline), but I think I'm going! The fact that in-con-center I have to wear a mask most of the time doesn't bother me! I need this trip and I'm most likely gonna do it!

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42 minutes ago, GasparAKAShiggitay said:

So as I said on the Otakon Unofficial Discord Server (of which y'all should totally join pre-Ota and just overall https://discord.gg/wjrfMbH😞

"Holy crap... Reading up on the cleaning tech the WEWCC installed makes me REALLY wanna attend this year!! It feels like it'd potentially be "COVID-free" (notice I have it in quotations cuz we'll never be fully COVID-free, at least not for a long time) during the con!"

I'm giving myself this weekend to fully decide (since this weekend is the badge mailing deadline), but I think I'm going! The fact that in-con-center I have to wear a mask most of the time doesn't bother me! I need this trip and I'm most likely gonna do it!

I had my badge rolled over from last year, but I forgot to have it set to be mailed over to me.

 

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17 hours ago, Daniel Perales said:

I had my badge rolled over from last year, but I forgot to have it set to be mailed over to me.

 

OOPS lol. It's LineCon for you then! haha

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On 6/5/2021 at 5:51 PM, GasparAKAShiggitay said:

OOPS lol. It's LineCon for you then! haha

I don't mind the line (as long as it's not too hot or it's raining). I've met some good people that way.

 

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1 hour ago, Daniel Perales said:

I don't mind the line (as long as it's not too hot or it's raining). I've met some good people that way.

 

hahah I know. I was just kidding.

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  • 1 month later...

Well, it's just about 18 days to Otakon as I type this, I was just talking to a group of friends these past few days. I was asking them if they changed their minds about attending Otakon (and any other cons this year). All said that they're still uncomfortable in going to Otakon (too soon), and most they're still on the fence on attending other cons at least for the rest of this year.

Another thing I heard is that if a con requires that everyone has to wear a mask is a complete turn-off for them. Honestly, I don't mind, but that's just me.

Anyway, I do hope to see some of you when I get to Otakon and the other cons that I'm attending later this year (New York Comic Con, and Anime-NYC).

 

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12 hours ago, Daniel Perales said:

Well, it's just about 18 days to Otakon as I type this, I was just talking to a group of friends these past few days. I was asking them if they changed their minds about attending Otakon (and any other cons this year). All said that they're still uncomfortable in going to Otakon (too soon), and most they're still on the fence on attending other cons at least for the rest of this year.

Another thing I heard is that if a con requires that everyone has to wear a mask is a complete turn-off for them. Honestly, I don't mind, but that's just me.

Anyway, I do hope to see some of you when I get to Otakon and the other cons that I'm attending later this year (New York Comic Con, and Anime-NYC).

My group is still going. We're young and healthy and statistically the least at risk. If we have to deal with wearing stupid masks for the weekend then so be it. Otakon is trying to find a happy medium and I can understand why since they're the first big con to get back up and running again. I just hope enough attendees come to keep Otakon in the black for years to come.

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1 hour ago, KyoKyo said:

My group is still going. We're young and healthy and statistically the least at risk. If we have to deal with wearing stupid masks for the weekend then so be it. Otakon is trying to find a happy medium and I can understand why since they're the first big con to get back up and running again. I just hope enough attendees come to keep Otakon in the black for years to come.

Another thing to consider: there's the concern that we may be having another round of COVID quarantines in the fall due to the delta variant. While this will not be a problem for Otakon and Awesomecon thanks to the safety measures that are being applied and the DC area being in control of the situation at the moment, there is some concern that it may affect the big fall conventions. As such, Otakon could be their only chance to attend a con this year.

However, whether you feel safe to attend Otakon or not should at least be based on the current COVID situation per state. After all, while the DC area may be fine, there's still those states in the Southeast where less than 50% still haven't even gotten their first dose of the vaccine.

Edited by TnAdct1
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6 hours ago, The Tsunami said:

I fully expect another round of Covid by September, even more so with the evidence of outbreaks right now in July (which had been the down season last year). 

You're not alone here, as one of the big aspects of the next possible quarantine will be the fact that a number of areas will be restarting school, with most kids being too young to get the vaccine.

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Talking to a few people here at work and around where I live, people just don't want to take the vaccine uses one or more of the 4 reasons: Political, Religion, Fear and Apathy.  The Apathy group just want to "wait it out" until this almost mythical goal of"herd immunity" is reached.

 

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7 hours ago, Daniel Perales said:

Talking to a few people here at work and around where I live, people just don't want to take the vaccine uses one or more of the 4 reasons: Political, Religion, Fear and Apathy.  The Apathy group just want to "wait it out" until this almost mythical goal of"herd immunity" is reached.

 

Zero chance of herd immunity. Hell, we are struggling to reach that on diseases like measles anymore because of the anti-vax movement. 

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On 7/22/2021 at 8:17 AM, Daniel Perales said:

Talking to a few people here at work and around where I live, people just don't want to take the vaccine uses one or more of the 4 reasons: Political, Religion, Fear and Apathy.  The Apathy group just want to "wait it out" until this almost mythical goal of"herd immunity" is reached.

 

Send them to Reddit or some other place where people post stories about those deep into COVID-19 begging a doctor to give them the vaccine, only to be told it is too late. There are dozens of stories like this out there, and just maybe it will convince a few to take action now while they still can.

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On 7/24/2021 at 3:00 PM, windseeker said:

I really hope mask wearing is enforced.

With a large portion of the attendees most likely wearing cloth masks, I really question whether or not they will be of much use. 

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