Opinion: Comic Convention Mask Mandates are Kind of Pointless Now, Aren’t They?

Anime convention attendees wearing masks. (Image: South China Morning Post)

San Diego Comic-Con had mask and vaccine (or clean test) mandates for attendees this year.

Other than optics and making people feel better about attending a crowded event in post-pandemic 2022, these measures didn’t really seem to stop anyone from getting sick. In fact, looking at my Twitter feed one would get the impression that SDCC was actually a “super-spreader” event.

I’ve seen several posts from attendees on social media complaining that they got sick from SDCC, despite the precautions. This also despite the media prematurely praising the mandates for stopping the spread.

This Isn’t Political. It’s Just No Longer Practical.

Before I go any further, I want to point out that I just got over COVID myself after avoiding it for two years. It sucked. And I know several people who’ve died from COVID. I’m not trivializing how severe it can become for some people.

But most of the country is attempting to move on and “learn to live” with COVID. Most conventions I’ve been to since 2020 haven’t required masks or proof of vaccination.

Walt Disney World just swept away the remnants of its COVID safety signage this week.

TwitchCon announced today that it’s dropping mask mandates. That event is also in San Diego, by the way.

It’s understood when you voluntarily go to a crowded event, you run the risk of getting sick. That has always been the case with comic book conventions, hence the term “con crud.”

COVID adds another potential threat to leaving your house. But the other option is to, well, not leave your house ever again.

Conventions will be struggling to come back after the pandemic and going to a recession. Cutting back on potential customers and revenue might not be a smart move for showrunners at this point.

Again, we’re going to have to “learn to live” with COVID. What that looks like should be left up to individual choice, based on the current available data. The current available data says fully vaxxed and boosted people can still get the latest COVID variant. Even celebrities. Even the President.

So at this point, choosing to mask up or stay up-to-date on boosters should be as optional as choosing to attend a crowded comic book convention. We’re two years into this thing. Everybody fully understands the risks and is able to make decisions for themselves accordingly.

Good luck out there.

 


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