Happy Friday the 13th! Between fighting your way through supermarkets for bottled water and pondering life on a respirator, you may have noticed an email from ECCC. They have jubilantly announced that ECCC has been rescheduled for 21-23 August - and it's all going to be fine!
I'm going to be pragmatic about this announcement in a minute, but first let's talk facts:
- If you had a badge for this year, you can transfer it to the August Con. Just let them know by 27 March. So you've got 2 weeks to see if signs point to a long-term hellscape by then.
- If you don't transfer your badge, you'll get a refund. I know - you thought you were already getting one. You will and it will happen automatically. Just sit tight.
- Because August ECCC is only 3 days, unlike March ECCC, which was to be 4 days, you'll get a refund of $15 to compensate should you transfer.
What Summer ECCC Might Look Like
Should this Con actually occur, I think it will be smaller and more local than usual. Which actually sounds kind of nice and will probably appeal to many people. I won't be there - this falls right between SDCC and NYCC and within days of my birthday, which I want to celebrate with a trip through my ancestral Scandinavian homelands. It's also within a whisker of Dragon Con, which I believe will prevent some people from attending as well. But none of that is necessarily bad, it just means the sense of local community will be that much stronger.
Here's the thing, though, and I'm sorry to be negative - but the U.S. is still skidding all over the Coronavirus road, and we don't know if this road is leading to "peaking by late May and we'll cautiously move into vaccines and herd immunity" or "our economy itself is on a respirator and we're shooting pigeons for food." Probably it will be the former. But I think Reed Pop should have waited just a few more weeks before announcing this. Right now the media blizzard is focusing on COVID-19's medical trajectory and that's definitely important - but the economic fallout is going to be intense.
And maybe (well, almost definitely) that's the reason for this quick rescheduling: to keep spirits high and offer a solid opportunity to pump cash and tourism dollars back into Seattle and the creator community. Nerds who've had to isolate at home (I will not make a joke here) will be relieved to have a big fun social event to go to. Those who've lost elder loved ones will probably benefit as well. If we do wind up "social distancing" as a nation for a month or more, the psychological impact will be very real. People are already devastated over the loss of NCAA games, the delay of Mulan and No Time to Die, their cancelled Disney trips. Staying socially connected and mentally healthy is going to be a priority for all of us, infected or not.
So - fingers crossed that it all works out. I won't be there, but I hope those of you transferring your badges (or just waiting for the ticket sale) have a magnificent time. Stay healthy, stay optimistic and you'll be floating through a land of magical cosplay and excellent comics before you know it.