An upcoming furry convention no longer requires attendees to be tested or vaccinated, causing divisions to form within the furry community. Hairy weekend in Atlanta (or FWA), which will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, from May 11-14, wrote that its directors base their decision on the loss of federal funding for rapid tests.
On March 12, the leadership team posted a letter on the Furry Weekend Atlanta website and Twitter account stating the reasons why they are removing the testing and boosting requirements. He more effective Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAAT) typically cost $100-200and federal funds Due to the coronavirus emergency, it will end on May 11 (which is the first day of the convention). FWA wrote that paying for the tests out of pocket would be prohibitive both for the attendees and for the convention itself.
Originally, the convention was going to require a negative test instead of a vaccination requirement, although neither a negative test nor vaccination prevent attendees from catching covid in the event itself. FWA also wrote that it would bring back a mask requirement if infection levels are high during the event, and that there will be a “limited supply of surgical masks and hand sanitizer available to attendees upon request.” my city reached out to ask how it would be enforced, but did not receive a response at press time.
Directors recommended attendees get the bivalent booster, but noted that less than 17% of the US population have done so. They also claimed that international guests have little to no access to the booster, so making the booster a requirement to attend was unfair. The document did not mention how the lack of booster requirements would affect immunocompromised convention attendees.
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Worse yet, the convention will not enforce last year’s vaccination requirements. FWA has a perfectly reasonable explanation for why they would no longer require any vaccinations: their effectiveness diminishes over time. They say they don’t want to give attendees a “false sense of security” by half-heartedly implementing measures.
The announcement appealed to those who felt the change was a victory for attendees against covid measures. Some mocked attendees for being concerned about the prevalence of the coronavirus. Others felt that conventions ought never have been willing to accommodate the immunocompromised, or those who were reasonably anxious about covid. Some weirdos were proud of not being vaccinated, or doubted the efficacy of vaccines. Bro, being a furry falls within a normal human range of social behavior. Being an anti-vax does not.
To the contrary, many community members publicly disagree with the FWA’s decision. “I feel like you should at least require the two base shots, even if they were received a while ago.” tweeted one commenter “It’s better than nothing, and at least it’ll filter out all the weird anti-vax people.” Other asked why FWA can’t “require” bivalent boosters like Anthro New England had. a preview assistant felt that the timing of the announcement was “bullshit” and felt that last year’s “lax” skin app created a “superpropagation event.”
Some pointed out that such a serious matter of life and death should No be discussed with too casual Language like “go get your Devils booster.” The directors it may have been “shedding tears and embracing to come to this decision”, but I doubt it will reassure furries who are concerned about their well-being.