Weathering the Winter Together

November 1, 2021

We used this Web Chat to generate lots of ideas for keeping communities safe and engaged during another pandemic winter. Small groups brainstormed further ideas in breakout rooms. Also, public health professor Dr. Kimbi Hagen shared news and perspectives about how the pandemic is progressing.

Full Transcript

Linda Henry 0:01

Greetings from CDSS, and welcome to our Web Chat on Weathering the Winter Together. I’m Linda Henry, Community Resources Manager. We’re hosting this Web Chat especially for groups that are waiting until after the end of this year to resume your music, dance, and song events. Based on our registrations, we know that there are many of you in the same boat, because we have 220 people signed up for this Web Chat from almost 40 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, and two provinces and Great Britain. We’ll be hearing from Dr. Kimbi Hagen about her very valuable perspectives, both as a dance organizer and a public health professor. And we’ll be using our breakout rooms a little bit differently this time to crowdsource lots of ideas from all of the Web Chat participants. We hope you will find some resources and connections that will be helpful as you are making your way through the coming months.

I’d like to thank other staff members in the wings who are helping this Web Chat happen. Nicki Perez, our Membership and Development Coordinator; Crispin Youngberg, our Office and Registrations Manager; and Sarah Pilzer, our Director of Operations. We’ll have a few very quick tech tips from Sarah.

Sarah Pilzer 1:47

Hi, everyone, just a few things to remember. We’re all getting very used to Zoom by now. We are recording this Web Chat, so if you do not want to be seen at any point on the Web Chat, just keep your video off. Of course, remain muted unless you are speaking. There will be a chance later in the Web Chat for some folks to speak, but if you’re not speaking, please remain muted. And we have a live captioning service available for those who need captions. You can find it at the bottom of your screen. Or if you’re on mobile, there’s a button—I think it’s in the upper right hand corner—that you can turn your subtitles on or off.

And then one final note: when we’re sharing our screen, if you need to change the size of the screen to make it bigger, there’s a little bar between the videos and the screen that you can drag to the left or the right to adjust the size. That can help if the screen looks too small to you. The chat function is currently set to be delivered to CDSS hosts only, so if you’re having difficulties, please send one of us a message, and we will assist you as best we can. Thanks.

Linda Henry 3:14

Okay, next I have the great honor and pleasure of introducing you to Dr. Kimbi Hagen. Kimbi is the perfect person to be speaking with us this evening, because she’s a wonderful combination of being a public health professor at one of the many departments of Emory University, and she’s a contra and English country dancer and organizer. Oh, I’m sorry, we need to switch the slides. There we go. Here’s a glimpse of Kimbi and all of the wonderful things she’s involved with these days.

Kimbi’s email is at the bottom of her bio. We’ll be having a chance for Q&A, but she has generously offered to answer any questions that haven’t been answered through her email. So Kimbi has spent quite a lot of time and thought on preparing a PowerPoint for our Web Chat this evening. And we’ll be doing a little screen sharing swap as we prepare for her PowerPoint.

Dr. Kimbi Hagen 4:34

Hi, everybody. Thank you so much for this opportunity to talk this evening. I’m very excited about it. As Linda mentioned, my life does intersect what we do in two different ways. I work as a public health professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. I’m the director/goddess of the Vaccine Dinner Club, which means that I spend a lot of time thinking about all things vaccines, and my real life is spent in doing music, dance, and all things CDSS. So, I’m so happy to be here.

You know, in many ways, it feels as if we are reliving last summer, June of 2021, when we were in that kind of magic bubble between when vaccines were widely available, and before the advent of the Delta variant. We don’t know what the future is going to bring; we don’t know whether or not we really are beginning to see a decline in new cases that will be sustained. Or if, even as we are having this meeting tonight, another variant is beginning to stew up somewhere. We don’t know.

But no matter what the coming weeks, months, or year brings, my point of my presentation this evening is I would love it if all the organizers here would be able to answer yes to this question. If your event were to become a COVID-19 community spreader, will you feel secure in knowing that you did everything you possibly could to have prevented that from happening?

There are no guarantees. But I am hoping that by the time that this presentation is over, you will feel a lot more comfortable in making decisions to begin to do community-based things in a way that is safe and will allow us to begin to gather together, as we are all very, very much wanting to do.

This is, I’m sure all of you out there who are organizers are facing this yourselves: community desire to reopen activities. I know that the numbers definitely bear this out. This is from the Kaiser Family Foundation poll that took place just this past month in October. And in it, almost half of the people that they polled said that they had basically returned to their before-times life. I mean, people are over this, they are ready to just get back to normal life. Our group, of course, is over here in this 35%, who are doing some but not all the activities they did before the pandemic, because a lot of us in this 35% think of a center part of our life being around communal gatherings for dance, music, and song. So we would like to eventually move ourselves into this group. But it’s not going to happen right away because of this.

This came as a headline from the same poll: One in five adults continue to say that they will definitely not get the COVID-19 vaccine, or will only do so if required. We have to assume that at least some of the people who are members of our community will be in this 20%.

It certainly was on my mind, I flew back and forth to Florida this weekend. And I’ll tell you that my little immunosuppressed self found being in the airport very frightening. It was astounding how many people were using their masks as chin straps in the airports. On the airplane, no problem. But the airports were really pretty scary. That told me that people really are over this. They are just ready for it to be done.

So how can we be a part of that without actually contributing to the problem? Because in a world in which not every—I mean, in my state, only 50% of everybody eligible right now for a vaccine has been vaccinated. And overall, 20% are saying they’re never planning to get vaccinated.

What can happen in a world where this is truth is this: Larry Enlow, I don’t actually know if he was ever a member of CDSS, but he might as well have been their poster child. Larry was a dance organizer. He was a musician, a singer, a caller. He started the Atlanta Morris Dance Group. He was, as it says here in the Facebook post, “a kind and gentle soul and a fantastic musician. The world could not afford to lose him. He passed from COVID fully vaccinated and extra careful, as he was the caretaker for his disabled wife, Maureen Kilroy. Still, someone gave him COVID and now he’s gone.”

In September, Larry, who was fully vaccinated and as it says here, being very careful, picked up a breakthrough infection, which ended up putting him on a ventilator. And on September the 11th, he died. And it was his funeral that I was attending this past weekend.

Is Larry an outlier? I don’t think so, because this is what the United States looked like at the time I pulled this down, about two weeks ago. If you look at the figures in the red box here, what you can see is that about 93% of all of the 3200-plus counties in the United States still, as of two weeks ago, were experiencing high or substantial community transmission of COVID.

This is Canada’s picture. I don’t have an equivalent map for it. But in the same time period, two weeks ago, when I pulled this map down, in a seven day period, Canada experienced almost 17,000 new cases just in a one week period. So despite the widespread availability of vaccinations, community transmissions of COVID are continuing.

So this brings us to the question: how long is that going to go on? This right here, “When will we get to herd immunity?”, is the single most common question that I get around COVID. And so I want to talk a little bit about that and how it might apply to us and dance.

As I’ve written here, herd immunity, also known as community immunity, is what happens when so many people in the given population are immune to a disease that an unvaccinated person in that population is protected, simply because they’re not likely to ever run into somebody who’s infectious.

If you were to imagine a population that had 100 people in it, and of those, 89 people were immune to an infection that one person had, leaving 10 people who weren’t infected, they were not not immune to it and not yet infected, the chances of those 10 being able to avoid running into the one person who’s infected while going about their daily life, driving around town, going to the grocery store, walking through the neighborhood, the chances are pretty high that they could in fact live a pretty normal life without ever running into that one person who’s infected.

This is what herd immunity at a level of 89% looks like, which is pretty darn close to the 90% vaccination level for chickenpox, or immunity level for chickenpox. That is, we think the closest analogy for SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-2 being the second-ever Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome caused by a Coronavirus. We don’t know for sure what the vaccination level has to be to protect the few who are not vaccinated from the one who’s infectious. The closest analogy we have is for chickenpox, and we’re hoping that it doesn’t ever turn out to be as bad as for measles. Because those of you who are of a certain age will have remembered [getting] the measles. Those of you who are younger will have gotten the measles vaccination, which is good, because you have to have anywhere between 95 and 98 people in every community vaccinated or immune to measles to keep it from progressing. So long way of saying: it could be worse.

But you know, it can be worse for us, because that picture of the population presupposes that people really only do move in small circles, that they only run into their neighbors at the grocery store while they’re walking. But that’s not the life we lead in CDSS land. We are—our neighbors are people that we run into every 30 seconds, we turn to another one.

So when will we get to herd immunity? It’s a moot point. As Seth Tepfer told me just the other day—I got this straight from him—in a dance hall, herd immunity is a moot point.

So what do we do about that? We accept what we have. and we move forward collectively. Albert Einstein, I think, would have made an excellent member of CDSS in a pandemic, because as he said, “In the middle of every difficulty lies an opportunity.” And as Naved Abdali says, “It’s not a calculated risk if you haven’t calculated it.”

So that’s what we’re going to do this evening. I’m going to talk to you very concretely about what you can do to calculate the risk and mitigate it as much as possible. We cannot eliminate the chance that COVID won’t spread at any of our community activities. The only way we could do that is if we just simply refuse to ever hold them, and we don’t want to do that. But we can calculate the risk and act on that in a safe way.

This is an acronym [“VAMP”] that I came up with just for this presentation. I thought it might be something that the musicians among us could remember pretty easily. It stands for Vaccines, Air Movement, Masks, and Personal Responsibility. Each of those will help us get to where we want to be as we’re entering the new era of safe gathering: safe singing, safe dancing, safe music.

First, Vaccines. As an organizer, you want to know, you want to require vaccines. The question is, what exactly are you planning to require?

The first thing is: you do not want to accept the Merck COVID pill as a vaccine. You may begin to get questions about that; I am, which is not surprising, because in this Kaiser Family Foundation poll that was done in October, 17% of vaccinated adults and 23% of unvaccinated adults thought that the Merck pill prevents COVID infection. It’s not a vaccine. It reduces symptoms in people who have COVID, but it does not prevent infection. So you cannot accept that people say “I don’t need to have the vaccine. I’m going to get the pill from my doctor.” Not a thing, not a thing.

So what we do want to do is talk about second shots and boosters, and what the difference is between them. A second shot, for those vaccines that are a two-shot regimen, the second one is a full-dose vaccine that’s designed to finish the job of bringing your immune system up to battle-ready status. And some people like myself, immunosuppressed people, may need a third shot to get the same effect. This is different from a booster shot, which is what’s beginning to be rolled out now. Those are half doses that are designed to reenergize a waning immune response in somebody who’s already been fully vaccinated.

So Johnson & Johnson has always been designed as a one-dose regimen, and AstraZeneca, for the Canadians who are visiting, are what started out as a one-dose regimen and became a two-dose. But in both cases, for Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, they’re saying that if you’ve only had one dose, you should get a second shot now. And they’re suggesting that if you do that, those of you in this position, consider requesting either the Pfizer or the Moderna shot for your second one instead of Johnson & Johnson.

Similarly, those of you who are COVID survivors, if you’ve recovered from COVID-19, think of that as having been your first shot. The immunity that you gathered from having the virus was your first shot. Get J&J, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, or Moderna series as your second shot. Why? Because COVID-induced immunity fades with time, just like vaccine-induced immunity does.

And—this is cool—the combination of COVID-induced immunity plus vaccine induced immunity provides the broadest protection against breakthrough disease and variants. So when the people in your community ask about, talk about being fully vaccinated, your question is, Have you had both doses? If you did, did you have both doses of Pfizer or Moderna? Did you get a second shot after your first one with Johnson & Johnson or AstraZeneca? If you are a COVID survivor, have you had your second shot by getting either—any of the series of vaccines that are out there? That’s what would make you be considered to be fully vaccinated.

Boosters are just getting rolled out. Pfizer and Moderna are the only ones right now that have boosters out there. If you had your second shot more than six months ago, you may be booster eligible now.

What about our next-generation CDSS members? Their shots are beginning to roll out now. Pfizer, they’re operating under an emergency use authorization for the older kids. And tomorrow, November the second, there’ll be the final vote by the CDC to determine whether or not the 5- to 10-year-olds will also be eligible for vaccination.

But I want to point out before I move on, sorry, I meant to hit this earlier: An emergency use authorization is—is a thing. It’s when the FDA and the CDC have approved the science. The only thing waiting is the government paperwork in triplicate that has to be filed. So what the government has said, the FDA has said, is that we know that the vaccines are safe and effective. We’re just going to go ahead and roll them out while the paperwork in triplicate finishes getting filed. So that’s where Pfizer is right now. Moderna is just a couple steps behind, under scientific review; J&J is still in clinical trials; and there’s no information available right now about pediatric trials for AstraZeneca. But hopefully, we’re going to be able to get our next-gen CDSS members vaccinated soon, because that’s going to provide additional safety for all of us in our groups who have children of our own or grandchildren of our own.

That was Vaccines. Now we’re going to talk about Air Movement. Because COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 aerosols are capable of hanging in the air from several moments to several hours, depending on the air circulation, they can pose a risk to any singer, dancer, caller, musician, sound god, who passes through the airspace an infected person has occupied. It is why air movement matters very, very dramatically in keeping us safe, if we gather to sing or to dance or to play music together, because the less air movement there is, the larger the risk.

There’s an example in measles, which as I said, is just slightly more infectious than we think COVID is, in which somebody with a case of measles got into an elevator to go up to their apartment. And three hours later, a person who had never been immunized against measles got into that same elevator and caught the measles three hours after the person with it had left.

We’re not worried that COVID is that contagious, but we don’t know how much less contagious it is. So truly, the best case is to try to, if it’s possible, while the weather is nice, do our events outdoors. Because outdoors, there’s a lot of air movement. As the CDC says—the information that’s in quotes here is straight from the CDC guidelines. “In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings.” Now, here’s the caveat: “You should consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings, and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.” And this is particularly true in, quote unquote, “areas of substantial or high transmission of COVID-19,” which I’d like to remind you is 93% of all US counties right now.

So what does that mean? What does close contact mean for keeping us safe? It means two things. Here’s the first: one, being close enough to breathe in the air that someone else is breathing out.

And the different things that we do through CDSS is laid out here. The things that’ll be the highest in singing is going to be if you’re indoors and you’re not spread far apart.

Musicians, if you are not able to wear a mask, or you’ll have to wear a specialized mask that will allow you and your instrument to be protected; if you’re not in a position to being able to do that, or if you’re being crowded by enthusiastic, heavy-breathing dancers who want to applaud you for what you’re doing, that can be high risk.

Contra, ECD, morris and rapper, anything that would bring you into close contact with other dancers, other musicians, other singers. I like to point out, by the way, that we should all start doing Morris dancing. Not only is it fun (I mean, like you know, bells!), but Morris dancing with three-foot-long sticks is pretty much the dictionary definition of social dance distancing. Yay for the Morris crowd!

When the cone of danger for infection from the person who is infected and is transmitting, it gets bigger and bigger the harder the infected person is breathing out, and/or an uninfected person is breathing in. You can see this, it’s in the picture here. Imagine that you’re dancing in a place that is cold enough to see your breath. Anybody who’s close enough to be in that breath cone is breathing in what you’re breathing out.

More pungently, have you ever danced with someone who—you could smell their breath? If you’re able, if you’re close enough to be able to smell their bad breath, you’re breathing in what they’re breathing out. So bear in mind that you don’t have to be just inches from people to be inside their cone of danger. Depending on how hard people are breathing out and breathing in, the danger could extend to people in the next row, set, or line, depending a lot on air movement.

I said there were two ways—two definitions for close contact. This is the second one: touching your eyes, nose or mouth with whatever somebody else just sort of sneezed or coughed out and got on their hands.

Have any of you been to one of the dance camps where, like at Lady of the Lake, Joanie, the infection control nurse, when we first arrived, she would put some stuff on our hands, tell us to go wash your hands, we’d come back, and she would shine a black light on it. And you could see that even after washing your hands, there was still stuff on it. Well, this will happen if you touch your face or rub your eyes after you hold hands, even briefly, with an infected person who has just used their hand to cover their mouth while they coughed or while they sneezed, or they laughed hard. Anything that makes them breathe out into their hands, they hold hands with you, your danger goes up if you touch your face or rub your eyes.

By the way, COVID is a respiratory disease. So a dancer is not at risk for anything beyond getting grossed out by touching someone else’s sweat-soaked back or shirt. I get that question every now and then. Nope, not a COVID risk.

Okay, that was Vaccines and Air Movements. On to Masks. The CDC says that if you are doing an indoor event with people who are fully vaccinated, that you should still wear a mask indoors, because Delta. Delta is incredibly contagious, and because of Delta, even if you’re fully vaccinated, wear a mask indoors if you’re in an area of substantial or high transmission, which right now is all of us. If you’re doing an indoor event with people who are not fully vaccinated, this matters even more so. If you’re not fully vaccinated, wear a mask in indoor public places.

Now, people who are not fully vaccinated include people with a condition or taking medications that weaken their immune system. They might not be fully protected even if they are considered to be fully vaccinated, because their immune systems aren’t generating enough of a response to protect them.

Also, excuse me, go back one. It also includes people whose immunity is waning with time. Because remember, I said after a while you’re going to need a booster to give, to pop up your antibodies.

Okay, let’s talk about masks. On one hand, they’re hot in a bad way. They slip off your nose; that can make it hard to breathe deeply; they don’t work when they’re wet; they fog your glasses. But you know, masks are also hot in a really good way, because they’re going to make in real life dancing, singing and jamming possible during COVID-19.

Wear your mask properly. This is what I saw happening wrong at the Atlanta and the Tampa airports this weekend, is the people were wearing them below their nose, like the pumpkins here and that lady is. You know, there’s a reason why they stick a Q-tip up your nose to test you for COVID—that’s where the virus is. So wear your mask correctly, and help keep everybody safe.

If you’re going to dance, call, play, sing in a mask, let’s talk about what specifics you might want to recommend to everybody in your group. You would like an extra layer, inside layer, of non-cotton breathable fabric, because that will make breathing hard in a mask possible.

If you wear, like, this is one of these beautiful masks—this is by Mary de Felice, I got this from her, from Yellow Cat Productions, and I can make it easier to breathe in this mask while I’m breathing hard if I take just a standard medical mask and I wear it underneath it. This mask, which is like the one I’ve actually got around my neck right now, has a sewn-in breathable layer. That helps also. I mean, I can jog in this mask. Also this combination of it works just fine. Adding this will help with keeping your glasses from being fogged. It will allow you to exercise more vigorously, comfortably while wearing a mask.

You also want to have a lanyard, you want to ask people to have a lanyard on their mask or their necks. That way they don’t take them off, put them down, and walk away without them. They just kind of hang around your neck all the time. It also works—like, Mary’s masks have a back strap that you can use, just pull it down over there and let it hang around your neck.

Adjustable ear loops or a head strap are a must. I don’t know how often I have seen—today, I had a guest speaker in the class that I was teaching this afternoon in public health, and he spent the entire time he was talking, every second sentence, he’d have to pull his mask back up his face because his ear loops were too loose and his mask just kept slipping down. Adjustable ear loops will keep that from happening while you’re dancing vigorously, or while you’re singing, or while you’re jamming.

A flexible nose clip is an absolute must, because that keeps your glasses from fogging up, again, while you are exercising hard.

And no bandanas! Just say no to bandanas. That is COVID theater. And that’s all it is. Because a bandana might be tight across the bridge of your nose and around the back, but on the sides, it’s loose. Everything you breathe out is just going out into the outside world. Everything everybody else is breathing out is just coming right into you. No bandanas.

Drink responsibly. Metal straws make it possible to drink water without removing your mask. So you might want to consider having these for sale at your event. That way, you can—people can stay hydrated while they’re exercising without having to take their mask off.

All right, Vaccines, Air Movement, Masks, Personal Responsibility. This is the concern: will your participant exhibit personal responsibility to themselves and to our community as a way of keeping all of us safe? That includes that unvaccinated people choose not to game the system and try to sneak into a vaccinated-only event; that vaccinated people choose to get boosters when they’re available to them, in order to keep their immunity robust; that everyone chooses to avoid putting themselves in harm’s way; and that anyone who is in a situation in which an exposure may have occurred, chooses to behave as if they are infected until proven otherwise.

What do we do with all this information I give? This is what I call the Event Organizer Olympics. Any time I’m organizing a dance weekend, this is my call to action here. Body, action, space, time, and energy. When you turn this into the Pandemic Event Organizer Olympics, you end up dealing with masks, air exchange, social distancing, vaccination and testing, and community readiness. So we’ll talk about those.

Risk mitigation. Ask yourself as you’re organizing an event: what is your plan for air exchange? Are you going to be able to bring in enough outside air and keep it moving around so that you don’t have to worry about aerosols of COVID just hanging in the air where people can walk through them or dance through them? Which means asking yourself, asking your venue owner, does the AC in your venue bring in outside air? Or is it just heating or cooling and then recirculating the inside air? That is going to make a difference. So you find out what your plan for air exchange is.

What’s your plan for masks? If you’re outside, will you need masks? Perhaps not. But if your event is going to be in a crowded setting, or it’s going to involve, as the CDC says, engaging in close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated, which can include people who are due for a booster and haven’t gotten it yet, or people whose immunity is, they’re immunosuppressed, so so their vaccine isn’t working as well as it should be—In those situations, are you going to be asking everybody to wear a mask?

If you’re indoors, will you require everyone at your event who is coming from an area of high or sustained transmission, which right now is all of us, to wear a mask? What about the musicians who play wind instruments? They have got specialized masks for wind instruments and for musicians who play them. Will they have those available?

And then dance organizers. Can you safely host a mask-optional line? You know, you have to think about it for a minute. If you’re dancing outside, for instance, if you’re having a dance in the bumper car pavilion at Glen Echo, and it’s outside and everybody’s vaccinated, you could probably have a mask-optional line. It will need to be physically distanced from the others, but you’re outside where the air movement is, and everybody’s vaccinated.

Now, could you do the same thing where we dance, which is in a community center in Decatur, Georgia that we don’t own, and therefore cannot—the venue is closed right now, but when it reopens, we’re not going to be allowed to even enforce a vaccine or mask, because it’s a community center that we don’t own. So, should we have a mask-optional line under those conditions? No, we shouldn’t. It depends on the air exchange. It’s gonna affect your ability to have masks, what you should do with masks is dependent whether you’re indoors or you’re outdoors.

What’s your plan for social distancing? Will anyone who is unable to wear a mask, for instance, a caller, or a wind instrument or musician who doesn’t have a specialized mask, are you going to be able to get them physically distanced from everybody else, and they can still participate in their part of the evening? Will event staff be able to come and go from where they need to be without having to walk right through where dancers are breathing heavily, or singers are singing heavily?

And will it be safe and feasible to have a designated food area? Safe and feasible, not the same thing. You would need to be able to do both of those. Can you have that safely? Again, remember, maybe you want to sell those little metal straws and put out things like pretzels, because you can always sneak pretzels in underneath your mask, so that people can eat without taking their masks off.

What is your plan for vaccinations and testing? Will you require testing? Will you provide it yourself? If so, what’s the timeframe? Remember that it takes five to seven days before the antibodies to COVID get to be plentiful enough in your body for the test to register accurately. So are you going to ask for a negative test if you’re running a dance week, for instance? And if so, how long before the week does that test have to be taken? And how long after the dance week is started? Do you want to wait until you’re certain that, and perhaps you retest, as CDSS did at Pinewoods this past summer, to make sure that everybody who showed up uninfected really truly was uninfected.

Are you going to require vaccinations? If you are, are you also going to require boosters? If so, on what time frame? Are you going to ask people how long it’s been since they had their last booster? What’s your policy for unvaccinated COVID survivors, and people who want to provide documentation of a negative test result in lieu of a vaccination card? You need to think that through; it has to be part of your plan. And will you connect information for contact tracing?

And then finally, what’s your plan for assessing community readiness? What is the transmission rate in your area? Are you part of the 97%, I’m sorry, the 93%? How risk tolerant is your local song/music/dance community? Are they ready to take some managed risks, some calculated risks, or not? Is your venue even open? Is your organization prepared to accept or address any of the liability issues that arise, as had been discussed in previous CDSS Web Chats, for which you can watch the recordings on the CDSS website? Are the individuals who make up your volunteer base comfortable with your event plan for air movement, mass vaccinations, et cetera? And are you comfortable with the plan? Are you in a position of being able to embrace the plan yourself? Those are questions that you and your group need to decide before you put together an event in the era of COVID.

So I’m going to end now with addressing some questions that came in during the registration process. These two: one, how risky is it for fully vaccinated, healthy seniors who are over the age of 65 to contra dance indoors with non-vaccinated, mask-wearing dancers? And a related question, what do you think of a public dance indoors where vaccinations and masks are optional? Those both are very risky. Sorry, they just are. There are ways to get around that, as we’ve just spent time discussing. Third question, is it safe to dance indoors, only vaccinated, and masks permitted? It’s certainly safer than the above. And if you pay attention to air exchange, vaccines, air exchange and personal responsibility, you’re going to be in a much better shape to be able to have that indoor dance.

This question is new, about boosters: they want to know, will boosters impact the level of immunity in the coming months? In the case of SARS-CoV-2 immunity, they wane with time. So the definition of fully immunized is in fact in transition now from meaning—earlier on, when somebody said they were fully vaccinated, it meant that they’d had both shots. Now, it means they’ve had every dose they’re eligible for. So fully vaccinated right now is coming to mean:

  • “I had COVID, but I also got a vaccine series.”
  • “I had J&J, which is a one-shot regimen. But I also got a second shot of Moderna and Pfizer.”
  • “I had AstraZeneca, and I had both doses. I’m good, fully vaccinated.”
  • “I only had one dose, and I got the second one as being Pfizer or Moderna.”
  • “I have had all of my doses, and I’ve had every booster that I am currently eligible for.”

In that case, that’s the new meaning of fully immunized.

Should organizers require boosters? After what I just said, you can guess the answer to that, being yes.

And does getting the booster provide any additional protection against shedding the virus? This is how the question that came in at registration was worded. it confers additional protection against shedding lethal virus. If you have a booster, if you’re fully immunized and you’ve had boosters, you can still get COVID. But you are probably not going to get sick from it. That’s not uniformly true—Larry Enlow here. But if you do become infected, the virus that you transmit is going to be much, much weaker than the virus that a person who is not vaccinated is transmitting. Because the virus that you’re transmitting is being covered, has covered up with antibodies from the vaccines and boosters that you’ve got, natural immunity you got from having had COVID, and therefore, the virus that the other person receives is going to be a lot weaker and going to have a harder time catching. So that’s the answer to that.

I think that might be—Oh, yeah. Will this pandemic ever be over? Yes, it will. But it’s not over yet.

If it will ever be safe to sing, dance, play music together in person, what conditions will make this possible? VAMP: Vaccinations, Air Movement, Masks, and Personal Responsibility. And that is my presentation.

Linda Henry 42:46

Thank you so much, Kimbi. Oh, you have poured yourself into this, and we really appreciate hearing so much valuable information. We will now move into a fairly short period of Q&A for Kimbi, so….

Dr. Kimbi Hagen 43:05

Because Kimbi talked too long. I’m really sorry. I swear, I practiced this and I practiced, and I had it under 30 minutes, and it just took forever. I’m so sorry.

Linda Henry 43:13

No, it was all very important. So Sarah, will you take it from here with the Q&A?

Sarah Pilzer 43:21

Sure. So, if you have questions for Kimbi, go ahead and put them in the chat, and those will go to me and the other hosts, and I will start reading them out loud.

Linda Henry 43:33

We probably have about five minutes.

Sarah Pilzer 43:37

Okay, we have our first question. It’s about which kind of mask are you recommending: N95s, KN95s, KN94s, cloth masks, etc. Do you have a recommendation about the best kind of mask?

Dr. Kimbi Hagen 43:54

Well, I mean, it depends—the best kind of masks for what are you doing? For just walking around in a crowded indoor setting, N95s are great, but you know, they are really really hard to dance and do anything energetic in. So I think realistically, they’re not going to be the solution for us. The other solution is to use a mask, as I said, you want several layers, and preferably the innermost layer is one that’s non-cotton and breathable, because that will just make it easy to breathe hard.

Sarah Pilzer 44:27

Follow-up to that is: if dance organizers are requiring a mask, what level of masks should they require? Is there a recommendation for that?

Dr. Kimbi Hagen 44:38

What you would be requiring is a mask that fits like this. It fits snugly across your nose, fits around the side of your face, fits under your chin. You want, you do not want to be able to breathe out and feel it on your hands. There will be air movement, otherwise you would suffocate, but you should not be able to feel the breath on your hands when you breathe out. That’s what it takes. It’s less about who makes the mask as the fact that it actually fits around your nose and mouth.

Sarah Pilzer 45:20

Thank you. Okay, this is about mixing different vaccine types. Johnson & Johnson is a different sort of vaccine than Pfizer or Moderna. So if you have Johnson & Johnson and then get a follow-up with Pfizer or Moderna, does one shot of Pfizer or Moderna after Johnson & Johnson count? Or do you really need two shots of the Pfizer or Moderna after you’ve had Johnson & Johnson?

Dr. Kimbi Hagen 45:44

One, if you had Johnson & Johnson first, you’re going to get a more robust response if your second shot is Pfizer or Moderna than if your second shot was Johnson & Johnson, if you got a second Johnson & Johnson shot, but you only need one of those. So your first shot J&J; second shot Pfizer or Moderna—done, until booster time.

Sarah Pilzer 46:09

Great. Speaking of boosters, how often after a booster might another booster be necessary? Do we know how long and—

Dr. Kimbi Hagen 46:20

No, time is going to tell on that. You know, boosters are just now being rolled out, so we’re going to have to wait and see. Believe me, epidemiologists are spending careers now on gathering that data. But we don’t have an answer. You know, the truth is that the flu, influenza, even if we didn’t have to get a shot every year because the flu morphs a little bit every year, we would still have to get a flu shot every year, because your immunity to influenza wanes over time. So we’re not surprised that this is waning over time. Right now, the assumption is that it may be around a year or less, and maybe around eight months. But we—truth is, we don’t know this is still—information is still being generated, you know. So stay tuned! News at 10.

Sarah Pilzer 47:08

What is a good target for air exchange in a room?

Dr. Kimbi Hagen 47:13

You know, I don’t have the answer to that in my head. I’ll bet that that answer exists. And I’d be happy to see if I can’t find it and provide that information to the organizers later.

Sarah Pilzer 47:25

Great. And sort of related, would you say that a fan running in an enclosed space improves or worsens transmission probability because it spreads the air around?

Dr. Kimbi Hagen 47:35

Well, it’s not great, but it’s going to be better than no fan in an enclosed space, because moving the air around is going to disperse whatever virus aerosols that are hanging in the air. It’s just going to move them farther apart. So any person walking through is going to be exposed to fewer of them than they would have if they’d walk through a space that had aerosols hanging in the air with no air movement. So not great, but better than no fan in an enclosed space.

Sarah Pilzer 48:06

Great. Does on-site rapid testing reduce risk for a weekend event where vaccination is required?

Dr. Kimbi Hagen

I’m sorry, could you repeat that?

Sarah Pilzer

Sure. Does on-site rapid testing reduce risk for a weekend event where vaccination is required?

Dr. Kimbi Hagen 48:24

A weekend event, versus, say a week long event. The test is only going to show you what your status was at the moment the test was done. So if it shows negative, you might truly be negative. On the other hand, you might have gotten infected so recently that you haven’t built up antibodies that are detectable by the test. You may have been infected within the last week or so, and that test would still show negative. So it’s why they’re actually better for a week-long dance, because you can ask people to get a test prior to the dance, quarantine themselves until the dance begins, and then retest them a couple of days in, to make sure that those tests were accurate. For a weekend event, it might be less useful.

Linda Henry 49:17

Okay, Sarah, one more.

Sarah Pilzer 49:19

Okay, last one. Any questions we didn’t get to we’ll save and send to Kimbi afterwards. Last one: How does a mask being wet or saturated affect its effectiveness?

Dr. Kimbi Hagen 49:31

It pretty much negates it. A wet mask is not a useful mask. So, right. Just, if you’re dancing in an area where masks might get wet because it’s really hot and humid or it’s raining, then it’s just kind of like the other dances that we would do, where we brought extra T-shirts or extra dresses: bring extra masks.

Sarah Pilzer 49:55

Great advice. Thank you.

Linda Henry 49:57

Great, so Kimbi you had mentioned that your PowerPoint does include further slides. Could you say a quick thing about that?

Dr. Kimbi Hagen 50:06

Yes, I feel fairly strongly that whether they want to be or not, organizers of singing, dancing, music events are also going to have to be community educators. So I wanted to make it possible to provide y’all with teaching points about these things we’ve been talking about. So the slides that I’m going to provide to CDSS for posting, for download for y’all, is going to have slides that I didn’t talk about this evening, that has got talking points on it in more detail. And of course, as I provided my email address here, feel free to write to me.

And before I turn it over to you, two quick things. One, yes, indeed, person who put this in the comment in the chat, I did misspeak. Cara, I said that the upcoming decision on vaccines was for 5 to 10. But it really is, yes, it’s for 5 to 11. I misspoke. 12-year-olds and up is already out there under emergency use, and what we’re waiting to find out is about vaccines for 5- to 11-year-olds. Yes.

And the last thing I wanted to say before I turn it over is: thank you very much, Seth Tepfer and Pam Eidson for letting me come to your house. Right before this started, the internet went down at my house. And so I drove like a maniac across town, and I am currently—welcome to the Eidson-Tepfer household, which is also like June of 2021, when the internet went out at their house and so they came over to mine. So yay, finally had an opportunity, so thank you guys. Appreciate it. Okay, back to you, Linda.

Linda Henry 51:39

Oh, Kimbi, we can’t thank you enough. You are just such an amazing resource for music, dance and song organizers. So everybody, keep Kimbi in mind if questions come up. And she has very generously offered to do her best to find the answers for questions.

Okay, we are going to switch gears. Next slide, please, Nikki. And moving into a very different portion of the Web Chat, we’re going to experiment with using breakout rooms as a way that we can generate lots of ideas, especially for people, for organizers, who will be heading into a couple more months of not resuming their events yet, and needing ways to keep your communities connected. And so we’re gonna have about 20 minutes of meeting in small groups. I’ll explain in the next slide about how it will actually work.

But here are a few questions to take with you to prime the pump. You could begin by thinking about successful ways you’ve already been engaging your group during the pandemic, and see if there are any variations on those, and if you share them with your small group, those may be new ideas for other organizers. Another question: any new ideas for safe ways to be involved with music, dance and song? Trying out an outdoor flash mob, for example. Last but not least, think about any other activities that your community members might enjoy. Here’s a shot of our front yard last winter, having fun making snow sculptures. I remember hearing from the Greenfield dance organizers up the road from where I live that they couldn’t dance inside their dance hall, so they had outdoor concerts outside their dance hall. Well, maybe in winter, they could be making snow sculptures of dancers in their parking lot outside the dance hall.

So those are just a few ideas to get you started. And when you’re meeting in a group, please keep remembering that all ideas are welcome. Next slide.

So we’ll be breaking up, we’ll be meeting in small groups of five to six people. Feel free to turn on your videos and unmute yourself. Begin with a very quick go-around so you hear each other’s name and location and the focus of your group. And then make sure you find a person in your group who’s willing to jot down the ideas that you come up with, because that person will then be sharing ideas from your group when we get back together.

And so before you end the 20 minutes, take just a few minutes to clarify the descriptions of your ideas, because your volunteer will be typing those into the Web Chat after we all come back together in the Zoom room.

So we will now, with help from Crispin, be sent off to our breakout rooms. By the way, many people have probably been using some form or another of online ways for engaging communities. That’s fine. And it would be great to generate some ideas that don’t involve screen time. Okay, take it away.

Linda Henry 55:49

Looks like we’re mostly back. Thank you for participating in this big experiment of crowdsourcing ideas. Next, Sarah is going to explain how the share out will work.

Sarah Pilzer 56:06

Great. So we’ve turned on chat, so that now your messages that you put in chat will go to everyone. And what we’re hoping is that the volunteers who said they would be willing to share back, we’ll both put some of your ideas in chat, and use the raise hand feature. If you’re not familiar with that, it’s under the reactions button at the bottom of your screen, to get in line. And I’ll then start calling on folks to read their ideas back to the group. So go ahead and start putting things in chat, as well as raise your hands. And I see David. Oh, one more thought. If you could please say where you’re calling in from, when you share your idea. We’d love to see the geographic distribution that we have. So, David, take it away.

David Beaufait 56:59

I’m calling from the upper valley of New Hampshire and Vermont, upper Connecticut River Valley. We were also represented by at least Portland, Rochester, New York. I probably don’t have all the rest of them. But the bottom line is that none of us are sponsoring live events at this time. And in part concerned regarding the—despite compliance earlier in the year with some mask and vaccine requirements for a few indoor and mostly outdoor events, and, unfortunately, that no insurance covers either the organizing group, nor the individuals doing the organizing, for coverage regarding any COVID liability that should come up in the future.

Linda Henry 58:03

So David, did anyone in your group talk about possible ways to keep your group engaged during this time?

David Beaufait 58:13

Unfortunately, we didn’t get that far.

Linda Henry 58:16

Okay, that’s fine. These conversations are valuable, pretty much no matter what happens, but we do want to see if there are any ideas floating around, so other volunteers feel free to chime in about that.

Sarah Pilzer 58:31

Margaret Bary, I see your hand raised.

Margaret Bary 58:34

Okay, I’m from the New York City area, and our group included dancers in upstate New York, Phoenix, DC, Greenfield, and Sacramento. And interestingly enough, not CDNY itself but the New York City area seems to be the only one out of all those areas that is now actively holding indoor, masked and vaccinated English country dancing. And some of our ideas included outdoor pavilions, a good option for warmer winter dancing, so some had used that during the summer. And my sword dance team is currently practicing outdoors in a playground area.

Sarah Pilzer 59:27

Great, thanks. Perry, would you like to go next?

Perry Shafran 59:33

Yes, I would. I’m Perry and I’m calling in from Alexandria, Virginia, just outside of the Washington DC area. We are having – some members of our group are dancing. We in Glen Echo are hosting not the Friday night dancers, but a private dance at the Bumper Car Pavilion this Thursday night, which should be interesting. We also had someone from Bloomington who is having a dance, having regular dances outdoors. Actually, the people organizing the Glen Echo dance used Bloomington as the model for that dance. There’s also another group that’s having a dance against the desires of the person who was in our room.

So we have, I wouldn’t say we have many ideas that I put down for the group, but we did a lot of brainstorming. First of all, you know, the outdoor dances that Bloomington have been having. They’re fully vaxxed, they’re outdoors, they have a mask-optional line and a mask-required line, but they may be moving indoors, and probably will require masks for everyone. The Zoom dances, which I’ve been running for, many people have been running for the past year and a half, they’re still a thing, they’re still ongoing. There’s actually one every Saturday night. Some people are getting their outdoor pavilion potlucks, fire pit to stay warm when it gets cold. For people, if you live in a state like Florida or Texas, they actually are fining organizations for checking for vaccinations or mandating masks, so suggesting that maybe we just have an independent person do it, and can try to skirt that and maybe there won’t be a problem.

Linda Henry 1:01:28

Okay, Perry, I think we need to move to other people—

Perry Shafran

Oh, too much?

Linda Henry

Well, yeah, I hadn’t made this clear, but in order to accommodate all the groups, if each person who volunteered could read at least one of your ideas—

Perry Shafran

Oh, sorry, I thought we were reading all the ideas. I’m sorry.

Linda Henry 1:01:48

I would love to hear a little bit about every group. However, with the time that we have, let’s focus on ideas from the groups to share, to help other groups keep their communities connected and engaged while they’re not having in-person dances.

Sarah Pilzer 1:02:11

Feel free to put all those other ideas in the chat as well, because we’re gonna save those. And yes, so if you have extra ideas to share, please do put those in the chat.

Linda Henry


Sarah Pilzer

All right. Pam, I see your hand raised. Feel free to unmute there, Pam. I can do it if you need help. There you go.

Pam Ruch 1:02:36

Okay, I’m from Bethlehem, PA. Our dance is Valley Contra. What was interesting in our group is that four of the six have actually had in-person dance events of one kind or another, mostly outdoors. The indoors ones had consistently vaccinations required, masks required. And the two that were unable to hold indoor events actually were unable, not through any, not through their own decisions, but because of dictates from above, either from the governor of the state or whatever.

Anyway, we didn’t talk much about what we have done to stay connected. Our group has had two potlucks, which were really helpful. People really enjoyed them. We do have an event coming up, again, masked indoors, fans, windows open, all those, you know, vaccinations required.

One comment that was really interesting was by someone who had organized a morris weekend. And it worked out well. She said there were no COVID problems. However, the biggest problem in that event was personal responsibility. In other words, they made the rules, but they weren’t always followed. So I see that as, you know, an interesting comment and something that we need to be aware of. You know, you can tell people to stay distant. But how do you enforce that? So that was mostly our takeaway.

Sarah Pilzer 1:04:20

Great. Thanks, Tim. You’re up next.

Tim Swartz 1:04:28

Hi, folks. I’m from the Montpelier, Vermont contra dance. The group that I was in, one idea I thought I would share is, we had one person in the group named Noel Kropf, I believe, who recommended that people try doing dances that can be done solo, including Hungarian and Balkan and Scandinavian dances, for example, as alternatives, to be able to dance over Zoom, when you can’t do partner dances so easily.

We also speculated about possibly, whether the unusual time signatures, you know, 11/16 and things like that, might really confuse the virus. We thought that was a subject that could maybe use some additional research. Seemed like a great idea, anyway.

Sarah Pilzer 1:05:30

Thanks, Tim. Totally agree. Peter and Thelma?

Peter and Thelma Thompson 1:05:40

We had a good discussion. I guess the one idea that came up didn’t come from a dance, but it could have: using Eventbrite to issue tickets for a limited number of people. And as tickets were issued, one could also make clear the requirements for masking, for vaccination, and whatever else one chose to. Some other ideas came up, but that was one that gave us some thought, I think. Maybe dancing on snowshoes as a way to, in the winter, maintain some distance.

Sarah Pilzer 1:06:26

Love the creativity. Great. Sandy, go ahead.

Kate 1:06:34

I’m the Kate that goes along with the Sandy. We’re from the Southern New Hampshire, Milford contra dance. There may be other people in the list, because we didn’t actually get around to giving a community leader. But there was an idea about renting an outdoor skating rink and you know, having music at the skating rink. What we’ve been doing in Milford is that we had been sending out, by email, a monthly newsletter, that we worked out, where people sent us in articles and we compose them onto a newsletter. We send it out monthly. And now we’ve just recently dropped back to a monthly email, with the idea being that we didn’t want to lose everybody, you know, that we wanted them to sort of remember that we were here and keep them up to date as to what we were thinking about, about where we were with COVID. So I think that those were the two ideas that I’d repeat.

Sandy Lafleur

I would just add that part of the reason of the newsletter is that we have a very large musician base. It’s an open band, so anywhere between a dozen and 20 musicians. And so one of the articles in the newsletter would often be about a tune, we would ask a musician to write an article about a tune, and we’d often have music in the newsletter. So that would go out, and just something to keep people’s minds busy and connected.

Sarah Pilzer 1:08:02

Love it. Great. Richard?

Richard Dempsey 1:08:07

I’m typing madly here. So, yes, I’m calling in from Rochester, New York. I see that at least one of my fellow organizers, Lisa Brown, is also here. Some of the things that came out of my breakout group—well, in Rochester, we’ve had a weekly contra walk, held at the same time as the regular dance. We had to stop that when daylight savings ended because of the dark. We had at least one case where musicians crashed the walk and accompanied us with a Swedish walking tune.

One of the things that happened was that a club used the time to review and revise their mission and their policies. So hopefully, that will stand them in good stead when we can come back even stronger.

We’ve had a—and Lisa would help me, I think there was an ECD bingo event held online. Although it might have been a dance trivia event.

Lisa Brown 1:09:32

No, bingo, several times.

Richard Dempsey 1:09:35


Lisa Brown 1:09:37

ECD bingo.

Richard Dempsey 1:09:41

And it’s been discovered that there have been several cases where small dance parties have happened in people’s backyards at the same time as some of the online Zoom dances, and so there’s an interesting adaptation, where a slide would be put up with the instructions for the regular dance. That was posted while the caller, the online caller, was teaching the adaptations.

Sarah Pilzer

Great. Thanks. If you have any others—

Richard Dempsey

Yep, that’s my list.

Sarah Pilzer 1:10:18

Great. Yeah, feel free to add more to the chat later too. Linda. See if I can help you with the unmuting there, I think you’re still muted, Linda. Sorry.

Linda Kowalski 1:10:48

I did unmute myself. Okay. I’m from Vancouver, British Columbia, in Canada. And I can also speak to Victoria, which is also in British Columbia. I see that Bonnie has already put out the idea of line dancing from our group. And we talked about folk dancing, which is proceeding apace in Vancouver and also in Victoria, with a variation of line dancing.

And I suggested, and I put a comment in here asking CDSS or anybody else, if they have the link to contra dancing for two people. In other words, for one couple. Somewhere on the web, there’s choreography and music for contra dancing for one couple. Because the idea I had was if you could have like, contra, there are a couple of line dances that we do in folk dance—Over the Rainbow is one some of you may know; it’s an Irish American dance. Another one is Yolanda, which is another—these are folk dances done on one space. And if we put one couple on that space, and then another couple, six feet away, on a space, and another couple, six feet away on a space, all of them contra dancing only with each other, effectively, that’s contra dancing. Okay. So anyway, that’s an idea that came up, which I thought was kind of unique.

Sarah Pilzer 1:12:23

Thank you. Val, now your turn.

Val Medve 1:12:29

Thanks, Sarah. So basically, one of the things that came out of our little meeting, because we talked on so many different topics, was that community members can meet outside in a yard, in an open garage, an outdoor public space, and just get together that way. So that was it.

Sarah Pilzer 1:12:57

Thanks! Deb.

Deb Karl 1:13:00

I’m in the Boston area, and I do English country dance. And CDS Boston has a social Zoom call once or twice a month. We try for, I think we’re trying now for the second and the fourth Wednesday, and we would dance on Wednesday nights. And there’s maybe 15 regulars, and it’s just a great chance to see our dance friends’ faces and talk about vaccinations, talk about the walks we’ve been on, just talk about anything, but keep the community connected in that way. And I just also wanted to make a note of how our individual communities have all grown. And so we have, you know, everybody in the United States and then people in various places around the world, meeting up at these online concerts and doing little chats, Facebook chat or something. The extension of community is tremendous. And having all this wonderful music to listen to is fabulous.

Sarah Pilzer

Yeah, we’ve connected beyond the local.

Deb Karl


Sarah Pilzer


Linda Henry 1:14:21

Sarah, I think we have time for two quick ones.

Sarah Pilzer 1:14:24

All right, I see Stan Swanson and Bonnie Milner. Those will be our last two. There you go.

[Unknown speaker in room with Stan Swanson] 1:14:46

Okay, one of the people in our group said that there were some backyard parties where a caller had written some dances without any partner changes, and without face-to-face interactions that worked both for English and for contra. So that was one of the ways that that group coped.

Sarah Pilzer

Great. Thanks. And Bonnie.

Bonnie Milner 1:15:20

I’m going to turn my attention to some of the music and singing particularly. We’ve really discussed a lot of dance here. One thing that’s been working very well are Zoom sessions for singing—ballad sessions in particular, where it’s one singer, one song, and then Zoom shanty sessions, where there’s a leader and you sing at home. Of course, we miss the harmony singing, but now that we’re able to get into pods, groups of people can be in a location on a Zoom call, and stream their harmonies and their instruments and so on and so forth. So that’s been a positive.

And the big positive out of it is that it has brought us together globally, I mean, people from all over the world. And so that’s been a very positive thing with the Zoom during pandemic.

We also discussed—the organizer of Falconridge was there, and being that I’m also organizing a sea music festival with some other friends, we were talking about, what kind of venues? Are we doing it outdoors? Is it going to be in tents? Are we asking people to be vaccinated? Or do we require it and who’s going to be the vaccine police? There’s a lot of angles, and the only—it’s just going to reveal itself as time goes forward. But I was disturbed in the chat to see tonight the fact that organizations and individuals who sponsor organizations cannot insure themselves if they have an event, and somebody comes down with COVID. And I really would like to know some more answers about that.

Sarah Pilzer 1:17:04

Yeah, we’ll see if we can address that in a future Web Chat.

Bonnie Milner

Yeah. But thank you.

Linda Henry 1:17:11

Okay, everyone, thank you so much. This has been a very successful experiment. I was pretty nervous going into this. But from what I can tell, there were lots of ideas shared, and hopefully your breakout rooms themselves helped you to feel more connected to other organizers.

Okay, next slide. We’re gonna run through these resources very quickly. We have online programs happening through CDSS. Take a look here. Contra Pulse is a series of interviews from musicians about the ways that contra dance music has been evolving. And the next Common Time is for callers by Mary Devlin, a caller on the West Coast. And we are already beginning to plan our next Web Chat, which will be for organizers who have resumed their events. So we’ll be providing news and experiences from those organizers.

We are going to do one more little experiment on this Web Chat. It’s that we are debating about whether to have this next Web Chat in mid December, or early January. And we would like to do a quick poll of everyone participating in this Web Chat, to give us feedback about which of those two time frames you would prefer. So Crispin is gonna explain how that’s gonna work.

Crispin Youngberg 1:18:49

Yeah, sorry about that. Linda, the poll function isn’t working for us right now. So we’re going to put that in the follow-up survey instead.

Linda Henry 1:18:55

Okay, I’ll put it in the follow up survey. Next slide. So very quickly, here are some COVID-related resources from CDSS. Take a look at our Portal, and we have included something called Reentry Resources for Organizers. And there’s still the listing of online events that you can find and submit your event, and we’re still encouraging people to support gigging artists however you can. Next slide.

There are many more ways that CDSS is offering resources for organizers. The Portal as I mentioned; Shared Weight is an online discussion group; grants, which I’ll mention in the next slide, these Web Chats, which all have materials on our website. There are news articles; the CDSS News often has articles for organizers; and one on one support with yours truly, if any of you are having issues and concerns and challenges in your, in your communities, it’s always fine to email and chat with me about possible ways we can help.

We do encourage all groups who have not yet become affiliates to consider that option. And, not mentioned here, but any time any of you are able to contribute to CDSS, it helps us keep these Web Chats going. Next slide.

We do have some funding left this year for community grants. So I want to plant a seed for each of you. If you have any ideas of ways you want to be boosting your community, you can take a look here at the options, and also check out our website, where you can find all the application materials.

By the way, we have offered five grants to help groups hire consultants for cultural equity and antiracism trainings. We’re using our grant funding for that purpose. And these groups are finding it very helpful to be doing this work during the pandemic with their organizing committee. Next slide.

So for following up, we always appreciate hearing feedback from the participants to help us be planning more successful events in the future. We also look to you for input for topics that you would like to have covered in future Web Chats. I just wrote down the question about insurance. So look for an email from me tomorrow that includes a form that you can give us your valuable feedback.

In a few days, you can check our Web Chat page on the website and access the video recording, PowerPoint, and transcription of this evening’s Web Chat. And if you have friends that weren’t able to join us, feel free to let them know they can find this information on the website.

So we weren’t able to do our quick poll during this Web Chat, so stay tuned, we’ll be sending updates about the time and more information about the next Web Chat. If you are not on our email list, be sure to sign up so that you can continue to receive announcements about future Web Chats.

So I want to end by thanking every single person on this Web Chat. We know that you as organizers are the ones who are keeping these traditions going. And a very important part of the mission of CDSS is to do what we can to support organizers. So please remember that you can be in touch with us at any point. We’re always interested to know about things that you need and ways we could be creating new resources that could help meet these needs.

So we’re going to leave the screen up for a few minutes while you wave to your friends across the country on the screen. And we are very grateful to all of you again for joining us and we hope to see you on future Web Chats. Thanks so much everybody. We will leave it up for just a couple of minutes for you to say your farewells.