I was really hoping that Farpoint would be my first convention of 2022, especially since I’d already backed out of going to Albuquerque Comic-Con and Pensacon due to their insufficient COVID precautions (neither of those cons are requiring masks or checking vaccinations).
Farpoint, unfortunately, is sticking by their COVID policy, which is not to require proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test. They are requiring masks, at least, but given the contagiousness of the Omicron variant and how much more severe it is for unvaccinated, I don’t feel safe being around an indeterminate number of unvaccinated folks. (They’re also permitting guests to unmask while on panels, which strikes me as unnecessarily risky.)
After the really good experiences at Dragon Con and DisCon III (both much larger than Farpoint), who required proof of vaccination and all-masking all the time, I can’t understand why any convention wouldn’t require this much. Farpoint’s web site claims privacy concerns, but those don’t remotely apply here, especially since the convention isn’t collecting vaccination records or recording them in any way, merely confirming that they exist. It’s no more or less a privacy violation than checking a photo ID. And both DisCon and Dragon had very low infection rates at the events despite their size.
Fellow authors Peter David, Kathleen David, David Mack, and Howard Weinstein have also pulled out, as have actor guests Brent Spiner, Sean Gunn, and Wilson Cruz (though those three have backed out due to scheduling issues, not COVID concerns), and music guests the Chromatics, and the Boogie Knights are currently on the fence (three of our band, including me, are definitely not attending).
My apologies to those folks I was intending to see at the con. That was supposed to be the launch for Phenomenons: Every Human Creature and The Fans are Buried Tales, as well as a big con for the Devilish and Divine anthology, but Wrenn and I just don’t feel safe going.