Cartoonist Cooperative COVID Questionairre

By | Friday, May 24, 2024 Leave a Comment
Technically, they're calling it a survey, not a questionairre but that wouldn't have the alliteration thing going for it. But regardless of what you call it, the Cartoonist Cooperative is looking for feedback on your experiences with COVID safety protocols at conventions and other comics events. I mentioned yesterday that I haven't been to any shows since 2019 precisely because of concerns about COVID -- which is still pervasive throughout North America because everyone, by and large, gave up and just declared it over. Even though it very much is not. You only haven't heard much about how much it's still spread because they stopped keeping track of cases specifically in order to downplay how widespread it still is. The governments' (I'm using the plural here, because it's very much at every level from municiple to federal) concern is not about the public's health and safety but about the economy, full stop. They don't care if you contract an airborn disease that can literally kill you; they want to make sure the economy keeps chugging along and are unconcerned how many bodies are left in its wake. And, to be clear, this isn't a left vs right issue either. Trump's response to COVID was downright dangerous but Biden's has been awful as well. COVID is not over, and I still regularly have friends and coworkers who contract new cases with many having increasing issues with Long COVID, even if they don't admit it.

(I have one co-worker who contracted COVID in January right after a week-long trip to Disney World. He's since openly complained about and gotten frustrated with a sudden problem with his memory and generally having issues thinking and processing as quickly as he used to. A problem which started immmediately after he "recovered" from COVID. Nearly five months on now, and he hasn't realized/acknowledged that it's likely "brain fog" that's associated with Long COVID.)

I live in the Chicago area and there are PLENTY of comics events that I could attend. From larger ones like C2E2 to smaller in-store signings. Prior to 2020, I would go to at least one a month, usually one every other week over the summer. It's a big city with a big comics scene, so there's always tons going on. But I have been to nothing the last several years precisely because I have not seen a single venue offer even the remotest sense of safety and security in light of COVID. A handful of folks did have mandatory masking policies briefly but those were notoriously unenforced.

The percentage of adults in the US who are fully vaccinated against COVID is less than 15%. Whatever vaccines everyone else got (the rate prior to the latest vaccine was closer to 80%) aren't very effective against any of the COVID strains that are in broad circulation any more, so there are massive spikes in the virus showing up in wastewater samples -- the only means we have of measuring how widespread it is since the government stopped counting actual cases -- during holiday gatherings and we are only just now seeing things return to a "normal" level after the December holidays. (Though we'll likely see a spike with the Victoria Day holiday in Canada last Monday and Memorial Day in the US this coming Monday.)

In light of all that -- and conventions refusal to do anything at all to help the safety of their attendees -- the Cartoonists Cooperative is trying to get a sense of how that is actively impacting professionals. Particularly those people whose livelihood is dependent on going to conventions to sell their wares, but might be even more at risk because of being immunocompromised. So take a moment, regardless if you're a creator or not, to fill out their survey and offer your thoughts on how a lack of COVID policies impacts your interactions with the comics community. We've already seen how the governments' refusal to track COVID has led to it continuing to ravage people's lives; the least we can do is help anecdotally track how it impacts the comics industry.
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