So here’s the deal. DragonCon…cancelled, due to the pandemic. Skepticon…cancelled. American Arachnology Society…cancelled. Society for Developmental Biology…cancelled. Convergence…cancelled. Minnesota State Fair…cancelled. Or perhaps, instead of cancelled, I should say postponed, or moved online. It seems a lot of organizations of varying sizes have seen reality and are responding appropriately.
It should make you wonder when you see an event that insists on going on with the show. Like the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, where the organizers seem to believe they actually do live in some kind of faux medieval fantasy land, and are going ahead with plans to open up to the public on 22 August. It was also strange because they teased everyone with an announcement of a big announcement coming “tomorrow”, and I expected it would be an inevitable announcement of a postponement, but no — it was a Very Important Announcement of a discount on the family ticket admission prices. I guess it was essential that everyone know they can get their whole family infected at a reduced price.
Or, when universities announce they’re going to open as planned for the Fall semester. Yeah, fill up those residence halls! Get butts into those seats in the auditoriums! I’m reluctantly going along with our plans for in-person instruction during the pandemic, out of a sense of responsibility to the education of these young people, and also because ICE is goading us by threatening to deport our students who don’t show up, but I have to say that this is another terrible mistake, and I think the whole effort will collapse when the first student comes down with the disease, and we’ll once again have to scramble to rearrange all of our courses.