|October 18th, 2022|
Be responsible: don't appreciably increase harm to non-attendees.
Reflect the preferences of your community.
On #1, this was why I thought dances should shut down initially in March 2020. Our government was not well prepared for covid and initially we needed to be figuring out for ourselves what was safe. With vaccination generally available, plus updated guidance and regulations, however, most other things have fully resumed without requiring masks or vaccination. At this point, I don't think #1 is key consideration.
On #2, there are many different ways you might do this. For example, you might try to hold dances that the most people would attend—this might mean strict precautions (because dancers feel strongly that this is what makes it safe enough to attend) or minimal precautions (because dancing in a mask is less fun and many people don't want to get another booster). I don't actually know what sort of policies would maximize attendance!
You'd also want to consider whether to prioritize different interests differently. Compare two hypotheticals:
Pat would come if you didn't require masks, but since you do they don't. Dancing in a mask is unpleasant enough that they'd rather do something else.
Sam would come if you required the new bivalent boosters, but since you don't they don't. The risk of being in a crowded hall with people whose immune systems have forgotten how to handle covid is higher than they're comfortable with.
Are these equally bad, each one person who doesn't attend? Or do you care more about Sam's situation because it's about what they feel is safe, while Pat's is more about what they feel is fun?
Still, what sort of policies are most popular among your dancers remains important. I think surveying dancers makes a lot of sense. Even if you aren't going to treat it like a vote, it's still very helpful in trying to fit your policies to the range of views in your community. I'm proposing the dance organization I help run do a survey, and here's what I've currently drafted:
We're trying to understand the preferences of our community around covid precautions—does the dance feel too risky? Too conservative? What would you like to see different? What affects whether you want to attend?
We currently require masks (N95/KN95/KF94) and proof of vaccination through the first booster. We don't require testing, or allow it as an alternative to either of these.
We're only asking about the current covid environment; we understand that as the situation changes people's views will likely continue to evolve.
This is a survey to gather feedback, not a vote. If we change our policies it will be after considering all the feedback we get.
There will also be paper copies of this survey available at our next dance.
I currently attend: every time / about monthly / about quarterly / about yearly / I don't attend, but I would if you had different covid policies / I don't attend, and there isn't currently anything that would make me comfortable attending.
If the most recent ("bivalent") booster were required, I'd attend: never / less often / about the same / more often / other [short answer]
If masking were optional, I'd attend: [same options]
If vaccination were optional, I'd attend: [same options]
If rapid testing at the dance were allowed as an alternative to proof of vaccination+booster, I'd attend: [same options]
The board and hall managers are strict in their application of the current policy. If they made exceptions on a case by case basis, I'd attend: [same options]
Above we're asking about attendance, but safety, comfort, and enjoyment are also important. If you answered "about the same" for any above but would feel better or worse about it, could you tell us more? [free text]
Any other comments? [free text]
Any feedback on the draft survey?