At the beginning of 2021 the only thing that felt right to do was to opt out of all large-scale public events. Standing in January 2022, the pandemic landscape has changed and for the first time in two years we’ve got big events on the calendar: Gen Con in August and the WXR workshop/retreat in September. It is very interesting to me how having those on the calendar changes my internal landscape. I was content to stay home, but now I find myself actively anticipating seeing friends in person. In groups. My horizons have been so small for such a long time.
Of course the pandemic could intervene and cancel everything again. As things look right now it seems like Omicron will subside and then we’ll have lower cases heading into spring. Late summer / early fall will likely be a pandemic lull when events are relatively safe. Particularly events that are requiring both masks and proof of vaccination. My event plans have contingencies for cancellation, but I might get to go. I’m planning for going instead of planning for staying home, which is a huge shift in life focus. Naturally I have an entire swirl of anxiety around the ethics of choosing to participate in public events. Those are met with the economic realities of the fact that our business needs the re-invigoration that public events supply. I have to do something to reverse the omnipresent tightening of our finances. I’m hoping we can get some new projects rolling in time to fund important things like reprinting a Schlock book and replacing our fridge before it fails catastrophically. Another consideration is that the events themselves are no longer allowing people to roll forward to a future year. This year it is “show up or lose your spot.” Which is fair. They’re a business too.
I’m excited and nervous about the events to come. I’m watching Covid charts and hoping fervently that Omicron is Covid’s last big hurrah before subsiding into something that we only need to worry about when we get our annual shot and wear masks at events. I’m girding myself up to defend my event decisions because no matter what I choose, there is a possibility that people will be angry with me for it. This year is already different from 2020/2021 and I’m anxious to see how it unfolds.