HUSHVILLE 2022 COVID 19 PROTOCOL
Covid 19 is obviously still a danger and cases are spreading like mad right now. In fact, this humble Flounder is home with it as I type these very words (mild case, no cause for concern). The BM Org has put their official position here. From that page: There will not be any health or COVID-19-related entry requirements for Black Rock City this year. This means that Burning Man will not require proof of vaccination or a negative test as a condition of entry. Thus it’s up to all of us to keep ourselves and our community safe.
The most important factor of whether you get COVID at Burning Man is going to come down to your mask game. Just like in real life. All the science shows that the one thing that we know categorically still works is when people wear masks. Good ones. Bring masks (N95 are best). Bring more than what you think you will need. It is absolutely fine if you want to wear a mask whenever you want in HV or elsewhere. BMORG policy is that anytime anyone enters any official BM enclosed space, ie: Will Call, at the Gate, ESD, commissary, etc… masks must be worn.No one’s minor inconvenience should be a bigger deal than someone else’s health.
TESTING, TESTING, 1, 2, 3
Here’s a fantastic way to save yourself and your campmates / friends a world of hassle: Test BEFORE you get in the car (or bus, or truck, or whatever) to come to Playa.
In addition to testing yourself before you leave, test yourself once you get to Reno or so if you’re coming from far away, and then it might be a good idea to keep a couple of more tests handy. Remember that the rapid home antigen tests are heat sensitive, so keep them somewhere cool
WHAT HAPPENS IF/WHEN YOU GET COVID AT BURNING MAN?
First and most importantly, if you’re having trouble breathing or any other life threatening symptoms, find a Ranger or anyone official with a radio and call for Emergency Services. Do so immediately.
For run of the mill COVID, the reality is it’s going to be very difficult and unpleasant to quarantine / isolate on Playa. If you’ve got anything more than even the mildest of symptoms, you’ll be much happier with medical assistance nearby, a bed, a fridge full of OJ, air conditioning, and walls around you to keep your virus away from others. I suggest a hotel in Reno, or better yet, going home.
Make a plan NOW for what happens if you or a campmate gets sick enough that you need to bail out. Find a buddy who can pack up your stuff and take it home if you’re unable to do so. If you’re driving with a group of friends, have the talk before you get in the car to come to Burning Man on what happens if one of you (driver or otherwise) suddenly must go quarantine offsite. When you’re feverish, hung over, blissed out on Playa Vibes, etc. is not the time you want to do your realtime disaster planning.
Be aware of symptoms: Headache, Fever, Cough, Shortness of Breath, Body aches, Sore throat. Stay isolated and test if you have been exposed or feel unwell. You can still be contagious without symptoms. Here’s a good flow chart of what to do if you’ve been exposed:
This concluding paragraph was written by Uncle Buck of Gate, Perimeter, and Exodus, and I felt it worthy of sharing:
FOMO IS THE EXISTENTIAL THREAT
Once you go out into the city – there’s gonna be 80,000 people out there that REALLY need to be at Burning Man and have done so at eye popping expense. And a lot of them are gonna be high as balls and probably not playing tight ball. There’s going to be a significant amount of them that start feeling a little bad, and because their FOMO doesn’t want to let them do the right thing and bench themselves and will likely write off symptoms as just heat exhaustion or being hung over or whatever – and those people are going to be the super spreaders. This is a great year to dial it back and really pick and choose your company. I’d STRONGLY advise avoiding big dance parties and crowded enclosed spaces.