This Editorial Is Authored By UsagiMed Intern and Writer Allison Marrero
Con season is back! Anime, comic, and gaming conventions across the U.S. have been returning, with events like Katsucon, Holiday Matsuri, and Anime Weekend Atlanta scheduled to take place in the upcoming six months. Some events have already occurred though, with one of the biggest conventions in the east, MegaCon, having taken place in Orlando this August, boasting over 100,000 attendees over four days.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of last year, I, along with most con-goers, have been steering clear from the convention scene due to health and safety concerns. However, MegaCon stated online that they would be heavily enforcing attendees to keep their masks on at all times except during stationary eating. I decided to attend for the full weekend and see how the mask and distancing guidelines carried out.
Carolina Fear Festival has nothing to be afraid of. Usagi Medical Group was happy to provide advisory services to Carolina Fear Festival (CFF) as they plan their reopening this year. With one phone call that took less than an hour, we quickly discussed their concerns and current public health strategy, and some additional considerations for them to make as they plan their upcoming event, scheduled for May 29 and 30 in Raleigh, NC.
All of us are looking at the convention-planning horizon with undisguised optimism. We are all champing at the bit to throw a big party and get back to our cons. But we must continue to exercise caution. None of us want the public humiliation of fostering another outbreak that puts our friends and fans at risk.
The recommendations and mandates that have been in place for the last twelve months are slowly changing as we get more and more data about rates of infection, hospitalization, and the availability of a vaccine. As the data continues to get updated, Usagi Medical will help your con AT NO COST on an advisory basis. We’ll help you answer some critical questions:
We’re all concerned about COVID-19. Whether or not you’re one of the people who are buying out all the toilet paper on the eastern seaboard, we here at Usagi Medical Group would urge everyone to try to put their anxieties in check when it comes to COVID-19 and what it might do to the local convention scene. Panic seems almost reasonable these days, but panic creates more trouble than it solves.
The only thing that we can predict about COVID-19 is that we can’t predict much. This is a novel virus, and while the scientific community is discovering an amazing amount of information very rapidly, our society and this virus move even faster.
Dude, are you dehydrated? When we’re at the convention we’ve been looking forward to all year, we want to feel our best. We want to be in fighting form to be able to squeeze every drop of fun out of our weekend! Much like training to run a race, we’ve got to take extra good care of ourselves to be able to withstand the feats of derring-do! If we’re going to walk 5 times as far as customary, sleep ½ as much as usual, and perhaps enjoy some adult beverages, we’ve got to check under the hood and make sure to top off the oil!
This post is authored by By Jennifer Clark, LMSW and Mickey Desai.
In Usagi Medical Group’s ongoing series to help you maximize your con-going experience, we’ve compiled a short list of tips and resources that you may find useful if you or someone you know is suffering from some variety of mental-health issues during your con. These issues are not always easy to identify, and may range from anxiety attacks to self-esteem problems, addictions to body-image issues, or even just good old-fashioned depression.
This post is for all our convention-organizer friends who have to use any kind of two-way radio during their con. Radio Etiquette. You’re right, most of this seems obvious. But we’ve seen things, man! There are a lot of people who work a convention just to grab a radio and enjoy some kind of rush throughout the weekend. Many of them don’t know what they’re doing. Or they abuse the privilege. Usagi Medical Group works hand-in-glove with both convention staff and licensed first-responders who may be on scene. Proper radio etiquette helps us avoid delays and mistakes. We hope your personnel will find these guidelines useful in avoiding unnecessary frustrations in times of an emergency.