Wednesday, 31 May 2023

Satellite 8 report addendum: Covid policy

In my Satellite 8 con report I completely forgot to talk about the con’s Covid policy.  In outline, they expected everyone to be vaccinated; to take an LFT before the con started; and masks should be worn in convention spaces when not actively eating or drinking.  I took my LFT the morning of the con and took a photo as requested which was duly checked at registration.  Technically,  I guess you could have taken a photo of some other test, but that seems like going to a lot of effort for something that’s really not hard.  If people forgot, the con had a stack of tests there and you could do one before registering.  I don’t know if anyone actually tested positive or stayed away because of it.

Masking during the con itself was intermittent at best.  In programme items, eyeballing the room (and obviously limited to the events I went to), I’d guess maybe around 50% of people were masked.  Probably less in the corridors and dealers room.  I tried to wear my mask where I could, but I ended up unmasked in the con bar, and for evening events.  The riskiest event was probably the ceilidh on the Friday evening, where we were dancing in very close proximity and nobody was masked (except Red the Wizard, who I was so impressed with remaining masked and hatted the whole event!  Must have been exhausting!).

I guess everyone has their own personal risk profile – and when I went on the Govan stones tour, we were taken by taxi, and someone did ask if we would prefer if everyone was masked or not (we didn’t mind remaining unmasked), but that’s the sort of new etiquette that will take some time to get used to.

All in all, I didn’t feel unsafe at the con.  Having everyone be vaccinated (although they didn’t actually check vaccination status at registration) and taking a test to show that you’re not contagious at the start gave me confidence.  And there was enough masking throughout to suggest that people were taking it seriously. I don’t know if they’re tracking any Covid infections from the con, but I’ve not heard of any so far.  I’ve taken a couple of tests in the days after the con, but I’m still coming out negative (which is positive, if you know what I mean 🙂  ).

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