Safety at TwitchCon San Diego
Safety at TwitchCon San Diego
Why this petition matters
Despite an increase in COVID-19 cases following TwitchCon Amsterdam amongst attendees, Twitch has put zero precautions into place to protect those attending TwitchCon San Diego.
TwitchCon’s official policy, listed on the TwitchCon FAQ tab under the header ‘What health and safety measures will be put into place at TwitchCon?’ states that, “there will be no COVID-19 vaccination or testing requirements at TwitchCon San Diego.” Additionally, they say that masks are optional and that their policy is in accordance with the local health and safety guidelines which may be subject to change.
According to the San Diego Convention Center’s website, as of April 1st, 2022, California lifted their requirement for vaccine verification or proof of negative test and moved to a strong recommendation. Interestingly, ComicCon San Diego, which was held at the same venue from July 21st- July 24th, just days before the TwitchCon San Diego policy was announced, required attendees to wear face masks regardless of vaccination status. Additionally, attendees were required to “provide verification of full COVD-19 vaccination status or proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours.” Following ComicCon San Diego, there has been very little talk of attendees having COVID-19. It appears that protective measures, when properly mandated, yield good results in terms of safety for attendees.
Since April, there has been a spike in both positive cases and deaths from COVID in California. If you want to see for yourself, I encourage you to check out the graphs shared in this twitter thread by DoctorJohn_MD: https://twitter.com/DoctorJohn_MD/status/1550251032969523200?s=20&t=p7A1Bb8JSe9CnmHQI0yLKQ
With the knowledge of how COVID-19 cases increased following TwitchCon Amsterdam, and the knowledge of an increase in COVID-19 cases in California as a whole, TwitchCon San Diego should do more to protect it’s content creators and viewers alike by mandating COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements.
I would like to make one final point, which is that of accessibility. Ableism is rampant in the gaming/streaming community as a whole, I don’t think anyone will be surprised by that statement. The issue of vaccine mandates and testing requirements also boils down to an issue of accessibility at this convention. Many people, like myself, are immunocompromised, meaning that our immune systems are not healthy or capable of fighting off disease and infection in the way that others’ bodies can. Without any mandates in place, and with the knowledge of how many people contracted COVID-19 after attending TwitchCon Amsterdam, knowingly buying a ticket to attend TwitchCon San Diego without any safety measures or precautions in place is practically choosing to get severely sick or worse for disabled people. With vaccine mandates and testing requirements, the likelihood of developing or spreading COVID-19 is reduced significantly, making TwitchCon San Diego a much safer space for everyone, ESPECIALLY disabled creators and viewers.
I know there are going to be people who read this and say, “if you’re immunocompromised you shouldn’t go” and I understand what they’re saying, however I challenge you to consider why you’d rather see an entire subset of the Twitch community miss out on one of the biggest conventions of the year than get a negative COVID-19 test or vaccine?
Lastly, this entire post was about COVID-19 and didn’t even address the new and worrying Monkeypox outbreak happening, which California declared a state of emergency over as it’s one of three states (Illinois, New York, and California) to have reported 47% of the US’s infections combined. At a bare minimum, TwitchCon San Diego should put protective measures into place for COVID-19 so that there is one less public health emergency to worry about when attending.
Not taking any precautions or safety measures during an ongoing pandemic and public health emergency is incredibly irresponsible of TwitchCon and they need to do better to support the health and well being of their attendees.