Nothing is 100% assured of keeping you from getting COVID. The best way to prevent you from getting it is multiple mitigations. Vaccine won't do it alone. Masks won't do it alone. Social distancing, washing hands, hand sanitizer, coughing / sneezing into your shirt... none of these by themselves will work. But all of them in concert *really do* give you the best chance *at the very least* of limiting the viral load you might be exposed to and making sure your body's immune response is top notch. Cuz those are the biggest factors that research has found: how much of viral load are you exposed to and how well your immune system is prepared... that will determine how sick you get.
You really should if you haven't already. We are so lucky in the United States to have the option to go get this vaccine for free... it's okay if you're scared of side effects. But I want you to be more scared of being admitted to an overcrowded hospital than you are of those side effects.
We're not making people show vaccination cards, cuz they can be forged and whatever... having a piece of paper isn't the point. The point is that I really want us all as safe as possible. The vaccine is safe... and while it isn't 100%, it's pretty good at keeping you out of the hospital and alive to play more games into perpetuity.
Bring your own mask / masks. We've been doing this for over a year, we should all be aware of how it's done. Do I like it? No. But it's going to keep us healthier, so we're going to do it. If anyone is really surprised by my decision on this, feel free to contact me about how *you* can petition all attendees to show me vaccination cards prior to arrival at the tournament.
This goes for COVID or anything else. We don't want regular influenza, ebola, pertussis, shigellosis, rabies... none of it! I will not ask Ken Burgun to take people's temperatures again (unless you want him to... I will have the thermometer - you can ask him). But if you aren't feeling well, let me know. I will refund your registration fee. If it is 24 hours notice, the hotel will not charge you for your room. We had a coach drop out last minute last year because of a fever, and I was SO proud of him for making that decision. He did not end up having COVID, but he made the adult decision and everyone was grateful to him (and he still got his SWAG!)
Feel free to bring your own as well. I don't think there can be too much hand sanitizer, unless it's the kind they have at my local dog park... that shit stinks. It's SO bad... seriously. Bring the holiday scented kinds, as those are truly pleasant. Peppermint and vanilla.
Last year, I kept it even lower - we were around 33% or lower for the big room even. There are no restrictions on meeting space currently in Rosemont, the surrounding area or even Chicago. Vaccination rates are high enough that they have lifted those restrictions. But I'm still not going to pack folks in like it's Lollapalooza... nobody wants that even in non-COVID times. But we will be going back to (2) games at an 8' table. Except for the top two tables - they will each get their own 6' table.
I'm not afraid of catching this thing... never have been. I *am* concerned about passing it along to someone who might not have had the opportunity to get vaccinated - especially small children. The things we do to keep our group safe expands beyond just us. It keeps others safe... people who have families at home. These really are small things we can do while we still meet in order to play our silly game. None of these things are too much to ask, truly. So I appreciate everyone's willingness to have the common mindset of keeping us as healthy as possible - before, during, and after the event.
Sincere thanks to you all.
**Below are the precautions we took in 2020 - this will be the worst case scenario out side of having to cancel entirely because of pandemic restrictions. If the state of IL or the country forces us to cancel in the name of public health, we will. Otherwise, we will continue to doing everything that the CDC recommends in order to maintain the good health of our attendees and society at large. Masks, limited attendance, temperatures and hugging restrictions / mandates may be lessened. Hand sanitizer is likely here to stay and for good reason**
*Attendance is limited to 74 (pre-registration will open on July 10th)
--Less folks = more space for everyone. We can have one game per table and keep *fairly* socially distant in a mitigated way. Maximum games in the largest room will be 17. So we’re really keeping the capacity of the rooms to 1/3 normal. (Alba has a total capacity of 275, so using that as a gathering space will still likely keep us under 25% capacity)
--We may be playing in more than the three rooms in our contract. The Rose Hotel has allowed us to dominate that wing and will give us the other sitting rooms for games. A couple of those extra rooms have huge 4’ x 10’ tables that we will be able to get two games on.
--Everyone should be able to maneuver to play endzone to endzone if desired.
*Everyone will be wearing masks.
--We’ll be providing masks - brought to you by Nurgle King and compliments of the unholy Lord Borak himself. You are welcome to wear the masks provided or one of your own.
--You need to wear the mask over your nose and mouth. No Lone Rangers - No wearing it as a speedo.
--Cloth face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms. Cloth face coverings are not surgical masks or respirators. They are not personal protective equipment.
--Practice sneezing into your shirt with a mask on away from things and people. It is top notch form and will earn you accolades from the tournament organizer.
*Everyone be using hand sanitizer.
--No sharing dice (or sharting dice as my first typo suggested)
Ask your opponent about touching their miniatures and honor what they are comfortable with in terms of placing models prone.
--Use hand sanitizer provided to you or bring your own.
If you sneeze, blow your nose, or touch your face… use hand sanitizer afterwards if you aren’t able to wash your hands properly while singing “Life is Struggle” by Sigmund Llamar.
--Absolutely no sharting dice.
*We’ll be taking temperatures each day upon check in.
--If you’re sick before arriving at the tournament and cannot make it - or if you cannot travel because of restrictions in your locality - I will provide a refund of your tournament fees. Please give me as much notice as possible so I can try to get the place filled, but I will be giving folks as much leeway as possible.
--If you are running a temperature one of the days, you won’t be allowed in. I will be encouraging everyone to bring a way to play online - and I will be setting up a way for the opponents with normal temperatures to play online against you while you are in your hotel room. Hopefully this doesn’t happen, but with the advent of NAF tournaments on FUMBBL, and my own knowledge of how to set up games with custom rulesets, I feel like this is the best way to mitigate a situation where someone might play games the first day, but not be able to the next. I’m trying to consider and plan for every scenario.
--We like to hug - but try not to hug. Same with shaking hands and fist bumps.
--Lord Borak hath decreed that it is entirely acceptable for attendees to form the patented Lord Borak “Thumb’s Up” fist, pat their chest twice and then finger gun pew-pew at your fellow coach as a greeting, farewell, or just plain acknowledgment of the greatness of Lord Borak.