WOzFest SWEET16 Attendance, QFest 16 Announced

I’ve been pondering for some time how to handle attendees for WOzFest SWEET16 as restrictions ease. This post (largely) reproduces an e-mail to the Apple IIoz Mailing List regarding attendance given the evolving circumstances.

I am very lucky to have my own COVID-19 consultant – my wife works in the medical space, assessing current scientific literature to advise government, pharma, device companies, medical professional bodies, etc. on the current scientific evidence for drugs, devices and procedures.

She was already reading up on COVID-19 before she came down with a cough (not COVID, as it happens) 3 months ago and she and I started self-isolating. She subsequently started doing deep dives, and she has stayed completely up to date with what’s happening in relation to both medical and policy issues.

I say all this by way of introduction so no-one thinks I’m basing my thoughts on “Dr Google”, or “Google-based medical training”. However, this in no way forms medical advice, I’m not suggesting anyone agree with my conclusions, and please inform yourself before making your own decisions on the below. While informed by my discussions with my wife, this is solely my position, and does not necessarily reflect current or future positions my wife may hold in relation to COVID-19 professionally or personally.

Also, all of this is framed within the NSW Government recommendations and restrictions for private residences. WOzFest HQ is not a public space, and therefore public gathering advice and restrictions don’t apply.

So, that allows, as of 13 June, up to 20 visitors/attendees to our residence. While the NSW Government recommends (but doesn’t require) 1.5m spacing between people, it doesn’t currently stipulate a number per m² for such gatherings in residences.

For those of a mathematical bent, WOzFest HQ is about 6m × 7m. Usable space is about 5m × 6m with a table tennis table in the middle. Walking/standing around the table tennis table is a 3m × 4m rectangle. There is also a landing of approximately 2.5m × 3m directly outside WOzFest HQ which may be available for use subject to weather (rain will make it unusable) and whether we have washing on the clotheslines there!

Enough disclaimers and background? I hope so!

Now the real meat – I intend to proceed as follows:

Attendee limits/caps

I am not pre-setting a specific limit more restrictive than Government restrictions in place on 25 July. I’ve changed my view on this recently if you’ve seen me say otherwise.

Community spread is negligible (if present at all), and I expect anyone who is symptomatic or is in the usual risk groups to be self-isolating anyway.

Also, (and I can’t stress this enough) if you are immunocompromised, I would suggest you not attend, or at least consider things very carefully as we approach 25 July and we have a firm idea of attendee numbers, the current community situation, etc.

If you’re a medical professional, you may already have limitations on groups you can be a part of more restrictive than the normal limits – caveat doctor! (or nutrix!)

Travel is currently unrestricted between and within NSW, ACT and Victoria, the most likely origins of attendees as far as I’m aware.

Potential attendees from other states will need to review their Government’s entry requirements for their return journey should they attend as I believe all other States currently have entry restrictions. These may, of course, change in the next six weeks. I will not provide accommodation until you can return to your native state!

PPE

I will not be supplying PPE for attendees – if you want a mask, bring a mask. I will not make masks mandatory, although I understand there is evidence for them reducing the spread. I may wear a mask when I’m not in front of my iMac streaming/Skyping, but haven’t decided yet.

I don’t believe gloves offer any protection above good hand hygiene and avoiding touching your face (and if you touch an infected surface while wearing gloves and then your face, gloves will provide no additional protection), but you’re welcome to bring and wear them. I will not make gloves mandatory.

will be providing several hand sanitiser dispensers around the room, including at the main door.

Food

The usual provisions (pun intended) apply. I will provide some snacks and cider. Dinner will be delivery pizza. There is a fridge here available for your drinks (unless it’s full of bubbly!).

It is my personal opinion that transmission via food is unlikely if good hand hygiene is followed. That said, if you wish to bring your own snacks, you are, as always, welcome to – you can even preclude others from enjoying them without judgement!

If you wish to have your own pizza, that can be accommodated. Want to keep your drinks separate? Bring your own esky (can stay on the landing, rain, hail or shine!) and cups. If you wish to have your own eating implements and plates, bring them!

Attendee register

I’d like potential attendees to let me know asap that they’re interested in attending, and if there are any conditions on their attendance (e.g. not once attendance is over a certain amount). This register will also be available (in the unlikely event it will be necessary) for contact tracing, so I’ll ask all attendees to provide/confirm their mobile number. Please keep details you want private (subject to provision to relevant authorities for contact tracing) off this list. I will not provide anything beyond a list of attendee names (and state of origin if requested) to attendees.

Virtual attendance

Remember, I am streaming the whole ~10 hours of WOzFest SWEET16 and will be happy for those who otherwise may have attended to Skype in to chat with anyone here. If there are interstate gatherings on the same day, we’ll do a semi-permanent Skype. Local non-attendees will be easier to Skype to due to minimal timezone differences, so I will prioritise Skype sessions by timezone differences to encourage those further away to get in on the act.

Other considerations

We are in a state of flux…and not (just) because of the Applesauce!

There may be a second wave before 25 July.

Governments may change their recommendations or restrictions, which in turn may change or inform my above positions.

I may see or hear something which changes my mind independent of professional or Government advice.

I may get COVID-19 and ban attendees but still stream from my sick/death bed.

I may be capricious, change my mind for no reason, and modify any or all of the above – up to and including precluding any attendees and being stream-only.

I may have overlooked something. Please pull me up on these.

Something, something, blah, blah, unforeseen.

However, any changes on my position I obviously intend to let you all know.

That said, you’re solely responsible for your own “limits”, “lead times”, “thresholds”, “Oh god, they’re attending, I’m not!”, “I can’t believe they’re getting pizza again, I’m out!” decisions.

Feel sick? Don’t attend. Not enough info or protection for you? Don’t attend. Not sure? Don’t attend. Don’t like me? Don’t attend.

The WOzFest HQ door will be open at midday 25 July – notified attendees up to the current Government limit get to attend (first registered, first allowed in) – others will be turned away – I’ll set or toy Bichoodle Daisy on the surplus/non-registered! If everyone who thinks they’ll attend lets me know, we’ll be able to avoid that unpleasantness.

And after (despite?!) all that, I really do hope to see you at, or online for, WOzFest SWEET16!

UPDATE: QFest 16 Announced

Steve in Brisbane has announced QFest 16 will be held to coincide with WOzFest SWEET16 – I’ll have a permanent Skype session to QFest, which will feature in the stream. Let me know if you’re wanting to attend!

Some sites used in framing the above:

https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19

https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/_emergency/Public%20Health%20(COVID-19%20Restrictions%20on%20Gathering%20and%20Movement)%20Order%20(No%203)%202020.pdf (presumably about to change due to limit changes on residential visitors)

https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/social-distancing

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-advice-and-restrictions-faqs#other-states

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