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Furry Cons & Coronavirus

Simo

Professional Watermelon Farmer
As the situation with the Coronavirus unfolds, I wonder what impact it'll have on upcoming furry conventions, especially as air travel and the use of hotel and convention spaces could become increasingly impacted.

Any news or updates?

Do any upcoming cons have plans in place? (as in, rescheduling, cancelling, refunds, &c, in the vent they don't happen?) Depending on how this plays out, it could really put a damper on things.

One thing I've always loved at cons are all the hugs...and that'd be hard with all this talk of 'socially isolating' and staying 6 feet apart and all.

Curious what people's thoughts are since cons are such a big part of the furry community.

Edit: Here's a link to a page on health issues from The Motor City Fur Con: (April 3-5, greater Detroit Area)

Stay Healthy at MCFC | Motor City Furry Con - April 3-5, 2020 - Southfield, MI
 
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quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
I was at NordicFuzzCon a couple of weeks ago, around the time the first reports of cases in the country started coming in (I don’t actively seek out news, so all I know is I saw a front page announcing the fifth case in Sweden some time the following week, if memory serves). Refunds or not, I’m not sure I would be going if the con was next week. Not only because of the con itself and all the international attendees (potential to bring things in from many places AND to bring things back home with them; neither is good), but also because I was taking public transit there and home every day. Health and safety are more important than the money spent on registration, in this case.

That said, I hope cons find solutions that don’t involve creating a human petri dish. If that’s offering voluntary refunds to spare attendees who can’t or won’t attend in the current situation (we do have a number of immunocompromized people in the fandom), moving the date, or canceling and refunding registrations, will have to be up to each con. Doing nothing at all would seem callous to me.
 

PercyD

Lover of Beasty Baes
Con crud is a thing in general. You've got a lot of people who don't normally attend functions with weak immune systems.

It incubates into something nasty, gets passed around, and then it's a field day. I normally attend gatherings weekly, so I feel like my immunity is pretty strong. Plus, I live in New York, and I get my daily dosage of microbes from the buses and trains.

But it may be that people with weak immune systems, or people around others with weak immune systems, may need to stay at home...
 
F

FrostHeart

Guest
QyrqSqvQMbYzyaQe8
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
The other factor where it comes to con crud is that you generally have people from disparate geographic areas congregating in one place. Even without an explicitly weak(ened) immune system, we’ll have more trouble fighting off bugs from new places, partly because they’re less closely related to things we already have developed immunity to. Having a specific nasty virus going around just exacerbates the problem.

Plus air travel puts you in a tube full of other people, their germs, and recycled air, while giving your immune system a bit of a knock by the stress it puts on your body at the same time. (Particularly if you’re flying overseas or taking a red-eye, disrupting your sleep schedule.)
 

Arix

Ladies, form a line.
I just got back from a con on Monday where no troubles have been had. That said, it was a relatively small one at about 150 people.
 

Godzilla

Getting thru it all
I’m really worried about golden state fur con in California. LA has been in a state of emergency and everything is being shut down from schools to social events.
This is the first fur con I’d be going to so I’ve been looking forward to it since last year when I just barely missed it.
Unfortunately I will be missing out on those famous hugs even if the con isn’t cancelled.
They also have a no refund policy under any circumstances. :///
 

Guifrog

Blue Frog
People have been talking about the Coronavirus on the BFF Telegram group, but no plans of cancelling/rescheduling/refunds have taken place for now. I'm wondering how they'll treat the matter in the upcoming weeks, as the number of confirmed cases in Brazil has suddenly raised by 34 in one day - which makes for 69 now

The whole thing kind of reminds me of the Zika and Chikungunya outbreaks a few years ago, in my region. As in, it affected many people, including older friends of mine, who still feel a bit sore to this day, as the effects from the latter tend to last longer with age
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
They also have a no refund policy under any circumstances. :///
While I can understand their side in that they’re probably already out the money for things like the function space, asking people to stay home if sick while not offering any compensation is kinda... toothless? Like, at least offer people who cannot attend due to the virus a discount on registration next year or something. Maybe find a way to livestream panels for people with registration.

It’s good to see they’re taking some measures, but I sadly don’t think that all people are going to follow their request that sick people stay home if those people are going to entirely going to miss out on a function they already paid to attend. People should be self-isolating out of concern for others regardless, don’t get me wrong. People just... aren’t always that considerate. Softening the blow by meeting them partway may be what makes the difference for some of those people.
 
Z

ZeroVoidTime

Guest
I have actually never been to any type of convention before so I am not really affected by it. Hopefully the individuals running the convention are reasonable with cancellation and refunds.
People have been talking about the Coronavirus on the BFF Telegram group, but no plans of cancelling/rescheduling/refunds have taken place for now. I'm wondering how they'll treat the matter in the upcoming weeks, as the number of confirmed cases in Brazil has suddenly raised by 34 in one day - which makes for 69 now

The whole thing kind of reminds me of the Zika and Chikungunya outbreaks a few years ago, in my region. As in, it affected many people, including older friends of mine, who still feel a bit sore to this day, as the effects from the latter tend to last longer with age
Oh my that number now...... (That is a shame that the infection number has risen to unfortunate and somewhat perverse number.)
 

Stray Cat Terry

테리 / 特里 / テリー
There's a third party religion called ShinCheonJi (NewUniverse) in Korea. And according to how they have effectively helped infecting most of the Koreans thus their infamous reputation rising, I worry that if anything Corona happens on FurCons....

Hope Furries never get into such a trouble and be viewed bad to general public...
 

PercyD

Lover of Beasty Baes
The other factor where it comes to con crud is that you generally have people from disparate geographic areas congregating in one place. Even without an explicitly weak(ened) immune system, we’ll have more trouble fighting off bugs from new places, partly because they’re less closely related to things we already have developed immunity to. Having a specific nasty virus going around just exacerbates the problem.

Plus air travel puts you in a tube full of other people, their germs, and recycled air, while giving your immune system a bit of a knock by the stress it puts on your body at the same time. (Particularly if you’re flying overseas or taking a red-eye, disrupting your sleep schedule.)
Actually, your immune system is always "on call" to say. Going on a plane isn't a stress, it's just more for it to deal with/increases your chance of getting something.

Stresses that reduce your immune system is more like,
  • missing a nights sleep to complete your suit or cosplay,
  • sudden time change due to jet lag
  • not eating a vegetable
  • dehydrating for a few hours due to travel
 

MaelstromEyre

Slippery When Wet
Cons, especially furry and comic-type cons, have a bad reputation for populations that aren't really great about personal hygiene in the first place.

I would hope that any Con organization that does intend to cancel its even in the next few months will make it known ASAP so people have a chance to cancel travel and hotel arrangements, and get as much of a refund as possible.

For any cons that choose to take place, please just use good sense about it if you go.
 

Lobie5

Lobie the Cartoonist
I'm sad. I was hopin' to be able to go to some kind of furry gathering this year, but my parents said we shouldn't even leave the house for a while. It's probably for the best, but oof. :(
 

Toby_Morpheus

Hello, Proto
Best way to avoid contracting a disease is to avoid situations it can spread.
It's an airborne respiratory disease, so the best way to avoid it is to stay away from as many breathing things as possible.

With that said, I hope it blows over by summer because I won a free super sponsor at IFC. If not, I'll have to ask them to extend it to next year.
Health is more important than a weekend of goofing off.
 

Simo

Professional Watermelon Farmer
Looks like it'll put a damper on any cons in the near future, with many states/cities poised to place bans on gatherings of over 250, 500, 1,000 and so on. But better safe than sorry.

What I wonder about is the overall solvency of furcons: I know it's probably tricky to pull one off, in terms of costs, and I wonder if some cons will take a hit, or even fold in subsequent years, as a result. As for refunds, and such: it'd be nice, but again, I wonder how possible it is for cons to do so? I'm not really well versed in the economics of hosting cons, but I imagine it's tricky.

I haven't seen any outright cancellations yet, but I'll post any I find. a

As for upcoming cons I wonder about:

-Motor City Fur Con (April 3-5)
-Golden State Fur Con (April 3-6)
-AntrOhio (May 28-31)
-BLFC, Reno (April 30-May 3)
...and, of course, AC in the summer.

Probably more I've missed, but I imagine things are gonna be slow on the con circuit, in the immediate future.

...and if people are out of work, leading up to them, they may have to cancel, just out of not having enough cash.

Also, on a somewhat funny note, at least to picture: lots of hand-sanitizer being mentioned, on the con sites...but what about fursuit paw-sanitizer? : P I'd imagine fursuits might be kinda like sponges, for a virus. Though, I have noted people have various sprays to disinfect them, even in times without such pandemics...
 
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Keefur

aka Cutter Cat
While I can understand their side in that they’re probably already out the money for things like the function space, asking people to stay home if sick while not offering any compensation is kinda... toothless?

A lot is going to depend on the leadership of the cons. Virtually all hotel contracts with cons have a thing called "an act of God" clause. Normally this is to protect the hotel in case of things like floods, tornadoes, etc. I can see cons invoking this clause to get refunds from hotels, which, should trickle down to the attendees.
 

Keefur

aka Cutter Cat
Looks like it'll put a damper on any cons in the near future, with many states/cities poised to place bans on gatherings of over 250, 500, 1,000 and so on. But better safe than sorry.

What I wonder about is the overall solvency of furcons: I know it's probably tricky to pull one off, in terms of costs, and I wonder if some cons will take a hit, or even fold in subsequent years, as a result. As for refunds, and such: it'd be nice, but again, I wonder how possible it is for cons to do so? I'm not really well versed in the economics of hosting cons, but I imagine it's tricky.

I haven't seen any outright cancellations yet, but I'll post any I find. a

As for upcoming cons I wonder about:

-Motor City Fur Con (April 3-5)
-Golden State Fur Con (April 3-6)
-AntrOhio (May 28-31)
-BLFC, Reno (April 30-May 3)
...and, of course, AC in the summer.

Probably more I've missed, but I imagine things are gonna be slow on the con circuit, in the immediate future.

...and if people are out of work, leading up to them, they may have to cancel, just out of not having enough cash.

Also, on a somewhat funny note, at least to picture: lots of hand-sanitizer being mentioned, on the con sites...but what about fursuit paw-sanitizer? : P I'd imagine fursuits might be kinda like sponges, for a virus. Though, I have noted people have various sprays to disinfect them, even in times without such pandemics...
Yeah... you missed a really big one... Furry Weekend Atlanta May 7th-11th.
 

Simo

Professional Watermelon Farmer
A lot is going to depend on the leadership of the cons. Virtually all hotel contracts with cons have a thing called "an act of God" clause. Normally this is to protect the hotel in case of things like floods, tornadoes, etc. I can see cons invoking this clause to get refunds from hotels, which, should trickle down to the attendees.

That's a good point; I think a lot of this might boil down to who is left holding the bag, in terms of any financial losses, and it could end up being a mixture, of hotels/convention centers, cons themselves, and con attendees. No doubt the fandom will survive this rough patch, and cons will continue to grow and expand in size and number, but I think we'll see a bit of a bump in the road.

Oh, and yep, FWA, is one more, coming up soon.

If domestic flights become restricted, that'll put another big dent in things; seeing MLB and other sports suspend things makes me think that huggy 'ol fur cons might be hit hard, but we'll see.
 
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brian577

Active Member
Best way to avoid contracting a disease is to avoid situations it can spread.
It's an airborne respiratory disease, so the best way to avoid it is to stay away from as many breathing things as possible.

With that said, I hope it blows over by summer because I won a free super sponsor at IFC. If not, I'll have to ask them to extend it to next year.
Health is more important than a weekend of goofing off.

What about your mental health?

Regardless I wonder if this bug is going to kill the "con boom" we've been experiencing. Seems like every year we have a new con, by next year will only a few be left?
 

Toby_Morpheus

Hello, Proto
What about your mental health?

Regardless I wonder if this bug is going to kill the "con boom" we've been experiencing. Seems like every year we have a new con, by next year will only a few be left?
If you're worried that missing a convention or two is going to seriously damage your mental health, you've got a lot more issues than the virus to contend with.
 

brian577

Active Member
If you're worried that missing a convention or two is going to seriously damage your mental health, you've got a lot more issues than the virus to contend with.

Some people don't do well without psychical human interaction, right now that doesn't seem to be encouraged. That's all I'm saying. Not everyone stuck in a quarantine zone is going to treat it like a god damn vacation.
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
Actually, your immune system is always "on call" to say. Going on a plane isn't a stress, it's just more for it to deal with/increases your chance of getting something.

Stresses that reduce your immune system is more like,
  • missing a nights sleep to complete your suit or cosplay,
  • sudden time change due to jet lag
  • not eating a vegetable
  • dehydrating for a few hours due to travel
That was what I was trying to communicate, yes. It’s not just the extra work coming from the germs but also the auxiliary stress from the whole travel situation.
 

PercyD

Lover of Beasty Baes
That was what I was trying to communicate, yes. It’s not just the extra work coming from the germs but also the auxiliary stress from the whole travel situation.
Ah, but I was saying having "extra germs" isn't a stressor. Your body is constantly fending off germs.
What I was getting at was that certain behaviors reduce your immune system's ability to do it's job.
 
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