2022 pandemic convention closures and postponements
As a new year comes upon us, the article which has served us from the start of the pandemic to this point in keeping track of closures and cancelations of furry gatherings shall be put to a close. That article with historical information around closures for the pandemic from the years of 2020 through 2021 can be found here.
Unfortunately we are not through our long night in these woods quite yet as recent news from Further Confusion has shown. They will be postponing their gathering due to the a new wave of the virus. Therefore this, like the prior article, this will be used as a archive for 2022 conventions who need to close or suspend operations for the year.
Last updated July 20th 16:22 ET. Latest update description: Further Confusion announced to restart in 2023
Upcoming Events 2022
- Harvest Moon (October) - Postponed to 2023
Past Events 2022
- Further Confusion (Jan 14 - 16) - Postponed Until 2023
- FurcoNZ 2022 (Feb 11 - 14) - Postponed until May 20th - 23rd
- Nordic Fuzzcon (Feb 23 - 27) - Cancelled until 2023
Update on the pandemic - January 2022
Closures due to coronavirus seemed to have been coming to an end at the end of 2021 with conventions starting back up in the summer and being held through December. Those conventions that were held and shared numbers seemed to also show that there were signs of heavy recovery at around an 80% attendance from pre-pandemic numbers.
However, like the first signs of the virus in late 2019 there were stories of a new variant that was given the Greek letter omicron, that was discovered in late 2021. This variant had a higher transmission rate, in part due to it having less virulence. Due to this trait, it is much harder to detect without testing, but on the plus side it also appears to be less lethal than its ancestors. However, this has caused an increase in the R-Number substantially and has created a new wave in the United States that has easily surpassed any before. Fortunately, with vaccines now being taken by the population as of December 2020 along with the less harsh symptoms of the disease, fatalities seem to be far more mitigated than in the prior waves.
Despite this, it is important to keep the spread low, to protect those involuntarily unvaccinated (or otherwise) and to prevent further possibility of mutation. Because of this, many conventions find themselves in a crossfire of trying to lower the spread or get back to business that furry artists and content creators count on.
Further Confusion has found itself on the front lines as far as conventions go. Just after midnight (EDT) on the 7th of January, they announced that they were postponing the gathering that was slated for the next weekend.
This was following a lot of internal action to try and collect data to make the gathering more viable. These included polls and data collection of attendee concerns and an implementation of an “absent attendee” contribution where people could support the organization even if they did not feel comfortable attending in person.
Such an idea may be something the conventions wish to implement in the future for COVID and beyond. It would be beneficial for local fans and those who can’t attend to support the gatherings they enjoy even if they are not capable of going.
It has yet to be seen the implications of this latest wave of coronavirus. The best case would be if the lessening lethality and increased resistance through medical advancements would have us reach an endemic phase and we would be dealing with the pathogen as we do influenza, with annual vaccines and other preventative measures. The worst case is if we continue stumbling down the Greek alphabet, but having descendants that show a resurgence in virulence and resistance to those advancements.
Given this uncertainty in the future, this article like the one drafted in 2020 will keep track of the closings and postponements of conventions within the fandom across the globe. If you see any that are not listed above please leave a comment and an editor will update the list. Thanks to everyone who helped in the prior years keep this up to date. Let’s keep up the fight against this bastard virus, and see each other on the other side.