I would like to take a moment to address the elephant in the room: COVID-19. Some of you may be thinking, “What are you thinking holding a fiber festival during a pandemic?!?!?!” The answer, in short, is that we believe we can do this show safely for everyone. I want to take a little bit to outline exactly why we feel that way:
- Our space: You’ve seen in the video, we have a huge space! I can’t emphasize enough how big this place is. Seriously, we’ve got airflow almost like being outside. We have come a long way in 10 years from the two story school house, and this is a really big contributor for why we feel safe.
- Shallow booths: We are pioneering a new type of booth for all our vendors this year: 6 foot deep and 6, 12, or 18 feet wide. Gone are the days of getting locked into a booth or not being able to reach the pretties inside! This also prevents people from crowding and helps to ensure adequate airflow and spacing.
- Masking works: The data from around the world, and even around the US shows that masking works which is why we are requiring everyone to wear masks at our event regardless of vaccination status (and we will have some extra in case people forget them at home). Please remember that many of our fiber friends are immune compromised, have children at home who can’t be vaccinated yet, or both. If you feel you cannot wear a mask we encourage you to shop our vendors through their online shops.
- Science and statistics: Amongst other things I have been playing with the tool at microcovid.org. This is a website that helps to evaluate the probabilities of exposure at an event like this. You can enter your specific conditions and check how you can minimize your risk. I have made an example on how we see IKS going for attendees. The key things to note are to put your vaccination status as well as adjust your acceptable level of risk. Keep in mind their “Low Caution” is limiting yourself to a 3% chance of getting COVID in a year if you did something attend IKS every week.
- Wristbands: Ok this won’t actually protect you from COVID, but we have decided to give out 3 colors of wristbands: Black for vendors and volunteers, green for “early access”, and red for “Greet from 6 feet”. While we all should be keeping our distance, it will be great to have a visual reminder for those of us who are especially vulnerable or concerned.
We know that even with all of these precautions some of you will still not feel comfortable attending IKS this year. That is ok, we will welcome you with open arms next time and would love for you to shop at our vendors online shops. We look forward to seeing those of you who can come this Saturday to join us in celebrating 10 years of IKS.