Some of my friends in medical have pointed out that Sturgis became a superspreader event. Taking into account the fact that Dragoncon is much smaller and lasts half as long as Sturgis, it's also
one, not the only major event in downtown Atlanta next weekend, and
two, largely indoors. Followed by,
three, Atlanta's medical services are at or near capacity.
"Understaffed" is technically true but horribly understated when describing available EMS in the city.
If you get fucked up in Atlanta, you're going to be worked on in a hallway by an overstressed and overworked crew.
I'm not gonna tell people to go or not go. Nobody listens to ultimatums.
But if you're going, and I'm already presuming you're vaxxed, distancing, masking, and all that, there's another step that can be taken to be safer.
(Note that I didn't say safe, just safer)
Look out for shift change.
Shift change in this context is a violence dynamics term coined by MacYoung. It describes the visual cues that make a given area more likely to experience violence.
If you served in Iraq or Afghanistan, you've seen this in action. When all the kids are suddenly gone and the shopkeepers are closing up in the middle of the day, it's a fair bet you're about to get shot at.
Your mileage varies, but a good indicator of shift change in most places is when the local families with kids leave.
If you've been to Dragoncon before, you know when shift change happens.
It's the point around sunset when nerd Disneyland becomes Nerd mardi gras.
The families with kids go away.
The alcohol flows heavier.
The costumes get more elaborate and risque.
Dudebros from both the con and sec game crowds show up en masse to partake of said alcohol and ogle said costumes.
and most importantly, the stupid kicks into high gear.
If there's a time span where the forged vax card crowd is going to be out in force, it's after shift change.
Personally, I plan on being in my own (or at least someone's) room when that happens.
I realize that's not an option for some.
But if you can't hunker down, at least keep a look out.
Take care of yourselves out there.