"Do know, however, that in most cases, Gen Con will take the more conservative approach to masking. In other words, if the official guidance is “no masks are ok, but masks on are better,” then we will opt for better." - This statement is concerning to me. Who is it that is giving official guidance? The CDC just told us that masks are no longer needed (for most people). Who else is the "official guidance" that this is referring to? I am concerned of a sect of people who will forever feel "masks on are better".
That statement notwithstanding, I think it is extremely unlikely that Gen Con will require masks unless the CDC guidance changes due to some nasty variant that gets around the vaccines. The last thing they are going to want to have to deal with is being the mask police in an environment where they are widely regarded as unnecessary and uncomfortable. It is far more likely that they will recommend that you wear one if you haven't been vaccinated and leave it at that. Maybe they will carve out a few areas of the convention as "safe spaces" for those who are unvaccinated or want to be masked.
It is noteworthy that the CDC recommendations aren't that masks aren't needed, it is that you "can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing" if you are fully vaccinated.
There is a lot of talk in the public health community about the value of showing return to normalcy with vaccination. Put another way, they want to encourage vaccination (which, ultimately, is our only way forward) by demonstrating value in getting a vaccine.
If Gen Con wants to be a good public health steward, they can advance this strategy by NOT requiring masks at all, but instead requiring showing a vaccination card at will call (or however you'd choose to enforce vaccinations for attendees). Ultimately, masks don't solve our problem, vaccines do.
I hope that Gen Con adopts best practices for public health, and avoids 'public health theater', which masks may well be (by September).
The exemption from masks applies only to the 37% of Americans who are fully vaccinated. By September we might reach 70%. How can Gen Con enforce such a requirement? By either requiring vaccination or requiring masks.
It’s going to be funny if everyone at GenCon is walking around masked and then 60,000 colts fans come through unmasked on Sunday. NFL is planning for full capacity this fall. I doubt they require masks then. My local baseball team already announced full capacity and masks optional on June 2nd.
Looks like Marion County/Indianapolis have announced changes to restrictions just after Gen Con have settled on a decision again.
As of June 7th:
No masks for fully vaccinated
Indoor Sporting Events at 50%
Restaurants, Bars, Businesses at 75%
Entertainment Venues (which includes the ICC I assume) at 75% capacity.
Restrictions look to be lifted further in July provided things don't go pear-shaped again.
All i know, is the latest here in ohio is no masks. BUT ORIGINS put out their newest newsletter AND they say "we will mandate masks at origins".. So i can certainly see gencon keeping the masks, even if the county drops it..
My concern is now this:
Is GenCon losing big companies like Paizo due to NOT mandating vaccine proof? It would be interesting to know if this is the case, or if major companies would have not shown up because there WAS a vaccine-proof-ID mandate.
I find it incredibly disappointing that Paizo will not be there and that GenCon failed to keep them on board. While I'm only one opinion, I usually go to GenCon with my group of 6. We had planned on attending and wearing masks, mandate or no mandate, and being fully vaccinated. It's too bad Paizo is so scared to attend despite full vaccinations and mask-wearing.
Why bother to even go outside if the fear of COVID is so great that is paralyzes you, even when vaccinated?
That's a really good point, Monkeyknifefight. The lowered attendance may be a lot less attractive to these companies. If they're used to an audience of 100,000 from all over the world, an audience of 50,000 (likely the vast majority Americans) might not be so appealing.
[This post has been removed]