Rethinking Reopening

In Beats + Bytes by Nue Agency

Although Lollapalooza looked like the place to be this weekend, I didn’t experience any FOMO from afar. As I hear more and more stories of attendees “not feeling great” after the festival, it’s clear this isn’t the typical Lolla hangover. We may need to rethink reopening.

Going into the summer, I was feeling optimistic about the return to live. But as the Delta variant catches headwind, my view has shifted with the landscape. Believe me, I don’t want this to be the case, but I don’t think we’re going to have many more unmasked, 100,000-person events in America this year. The pictures from Lolla look downright crazy. We jumped the gun without the proper protocols in place.

With more and more places looking to require vaccinations for entry, I’m concerned about the flimsy, loose piece of CDC paper we call official paperwork. Mine is already falling apart. Not only can the vax cards be easily replicated, they don’t guarantee that you’re Covid-free.

What we need is an effort to amplify and administer boosters and proper rapid testing. As we saw in Amsterdam, you can’t require testing within 48 hours of attending a festival, because there’s still enough time for individuals to contract the virus.

It seems inevitable that many of us who haven’t yet, will get Covid at some point. I’m glad we continue to see less severe outcomes in terms of hospitalizations and casualties, but we need to start thinking about how these dog days of summer and fall will play out before the spirit of traditional live events can fully rise from the ashes. I don’t expect a full-blown shut down, but I can’t see how things will not be scaled back as we try to get Delta under control.

What technologies are needed? Which quarantine habits will re-emerge? How will this affect culture? Does this mean a return to Clubhouse is imminent? Or did Twitter Spaces already eat their lunch?

I don’t know for sure, but I do feel like the vibe is changing by the minute. Let’s all vow to be strategic and safe.

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Also published on Medium.