I haven’t written much on this blog in the past few months because, frankly, there still hasn’t been much to write about as of the time of this writing in the late hours of August 16, 2020, COVID-19 is still wreaking havoc on America. After a relative lull in cases earlier this summer, cases are now surging again in several states, and the majority of states in America have, at the very least, seen an uptick in cases. Because of this, the vast majority of dance events, including all congresses, remain cancelled or suspended. Many dance venues have closed and others hang on by a thread.
Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine entered phase 3 clinical trials in July. Although encouraging progress has been made on multiple COVID-19 vaccines, the earliest that we could see one available to the general public, even if all goes well, is next spring.
The IHME is now predicting another large spike of COVID-19 cases throughout most of the country beginning in October and lasting through the winter, culminating in close to 300,000 deaths total in the United States. It is likely that the second spike will not be as severe as the second wave of the Spanish flu (knock wood, I hope I’m right there) but at the very least it could be a repeat of March and April if mandates are eased too extensively and guidelines regarding face masks are ignored.
Which brings me to my plea to everyone: PLEASE WEAR A FACE MASK WHENEVER YOU GO OUT IN PUBLIC. Face masks have been proven effective at stopping the spread of the coronavirus and much of the junk science pushed by anti-masker conspiracy theorists is just that: junk, and dangerous, deadly junk at that.
If you look at the IHME graph above this paragrapH, the short small green curve represents what will happen in the fall if we have mostly universal face mask wearing and the much steeper red curve represents the brutal and tragic reality we will face this fall if we do not have at least mostly universal face mask wearing and public safety mandates are eased too extensively. Which scenario do you want to be our reality in the fall? If, like most people, you want a scenario that involves a lot less death and suffering to be our reality, then please wear a face mask whenever you are out in public and especially in situations when social distancing is impossible. Wearing a face mask is not a political issue, it is an issue of common sense self-protection and self-preservation, as well as protecting your community.
I’m choosing not to cover the few dance events that are going on because the vast majority of them are private, and I don’t necessarily want to encourage people to go to the few public ones that are available at this time as I personally believe it’s too soon to begin social dancing again.
I also don’t know of many dance events because I’ve been out of the loop lately. This morning,I am entering an intensive computer programming school for the next three months, after having been in their prep program for the last three months. Therefore, from this morning on, this blog will go right back on hiatus again until the middle of November, at which time I will drop another state of the scene report. If something very groundbreaking and game changing happens regarding coronavirus and social dance before then, I will report on it on a Sunday as Sunday is the only day off per week I get from this intensive school program.
I hope everyone is doing well and is able to weather the storm in the meantime. If you must social dance right now, consider forming or participating in a quarantine dance bubble. If you must go to a public social dance event (if you are of a mind to do so, now is the time before things are anticipated to get serious in October), then please wear facemasks at all times and follow all of the event’s other guidelines without complaint.
The more we take steps to protect ourselves and stop the spread of this virus, the sooner we will be back social dancing, hugging, and hanging out in person like we did before COVID, and the sooner the dance congresses and festivals this blog faithfully covered prior to COVID will return. I wish everyone well, and I’ll be back in November.