COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

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Kanechan
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Kanechan »

I just checked the policy updates, and it appears that my issue with the vaccination ID cards has been solved. I appreciate the effort that went into making that decision. And while the mask issue hasn't been altered in any way, I am at least comfortable with that, and can handle wearing a mask nearly all day while at the con (even though it gets a bit uncomfortable around the ears after a while).
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by badends »

As you wait in line, a member of our registration staff will be walking the line to check cards. Once your card is approved, you will receive a hand stamp. In order to receive your badge at the registration counter, you will be required to show your hand stamp. Once you are in the convention center, your badge will serve as proof you are vaccinated as no one will be issued a badge without proof of vaccination.
Will the hand stamp be required as a checkpoint into the convention areas with the badge, or simply showing the badge? (As it is assumed those who have received their badge have met AB's COVID policy.) Those who have met AB's COVID policy can pass their badge off to someone who has not received the hand stamp.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Nemra »

Just the badge. We realize that adding another thing to check upon entry, while a few seconds individually, would add up and create a bottleneck when applied to multiple people. We also realize that there is a certain level of "good faith" in this approach but that's really all we can do without altering convention logistics and finances in a severe way.

There isn't a fool-proof plan and we recognize there never will be. This is the middle ground that was found based on incidents in previous years and what we've learned from other conventions. It needs no saying but anyone who is found to have exchanged or transferred their badge will be immediately ejected and both parties banned from the convention.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by badends »

Thanks so much for the prompt reply, Nemra!
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Goldfish221 »

I was thinking and was hoping for some clarification.

The mask rule is for AB but AB spans over the Hynes and Sheraton hotel and if there are long lines the Prudential center too.

The Prudential Center will have no mask requirements as the city mandate is gone, and the Sheraton wont have the mask requirements either because again the city doesn't deem it necessary for convention centers and hotels and most indoor places. And it's very possible the mask requirements for transportation may be gone by AB as well. (Just speculation of watching the news).

So can we expect the enforcement of this rule (if not changed by con time) will be for the Hynes, and I'm guessing panel rooms of the Sheraton only. But in the hallways of the Sheraton, and the pru, while we're in transit to AB we will not need to wear masks?

I'm honestly not trying to be a wise bottom, but it's gonna get confusing because the crowds will be just as large and pack potentially in the Pru and hotels and they will not have mask requirement in those areas. Which I guess gives us our mask break in doors if needed.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by waynoinsano »

Goldfish221 wrote: Sat Mar 26, 2022 3:35 pm I was thinking and was hoping for some clarification.

The mask rule is for AB but AB spans over the Hynes and Sheraton hotel and if there are long lines the Prudential center too.

The Prudential Center will have no mask requirements as the city mandate is gone, and the Sheraton wont have the mask requirements either because again the city doesn't deem it necessary for convention centers and hotels and most indoor places. And it's very possible the mask requirements for transportation may be gone by AB as well. (Just speculation of watching the news).

So can we expect the enforcement of this rule (if not changed by con time) will be for the Hynes, and I'm guessing panel rooms of the Sheraton only. But in the hallways of the Sheraton, and the pru, while we're in transit to AB we will not need to wear masks?

I'm honestly not trying to be a wise bottom, but it's gonna get confusing because the crowds will be just as large and pack potentially in the Pru and hotels and they will not have mask requirement in those areas. Which I guess gives us our mask break in doors if needed.
Not in Hynes or AB designated space in Pru or Sheraton, remove badge take off mask. Now your just another person in Boston.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Nemra »

Goldfish221 wrote: Sat Mar 26, 2022 3:35 pm So can we expect the enforcement of this rule (if not changed by con time) will be for the Hynes, and I'm guessing panel rooms of the Sheraton only. But in the hallways of the Sheraton, and the pru, while we're in transit to AB we will not need to wear masks?
Correct. The mask requirement will only/can only be enforced for spaces that AB 'owns' which is the Hynes center in full and specific areas of the Sheraton hotel.
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waynoinsano
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by waynoinsano »

Nemra wrote: Sun Mar 27, 2022 7:05 pm
Goldfish221 wrote: Sat Mar 26, 2022 3:35 pm So can we expect the enforcement of this rule (if not changed by con time) will be for the Hynes, and I'm guessing panel rooms of the Sheraton only. But in the hallways of the Sheraton, and the pru, while we're in transit to AB we will not need to wear masks?
Correct. The mask requirement will only/can only be enforced for spaces that AB 'owns' which is the Hynes center in full and specific areas of the Sheraton hotel.
Does that also apply to lines outside and in the pru? Mandates don't start until you get to the door?
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by reaper527 »

Nemra wrote: Sun Mar 27, 2022 7:05 pm
Goldfish221 wrote: Sat Mar 26, 2022 3:35 pm So can we expect the enforcement of this rule (if not changed by con time) will be for the Hynes, and I'm guessing panel rooms of the Sheraton only. But in the hallways of the Sheraton, and the pru, while we're in transit to AB we will not need to wear masks?
Correct. The mask requirement will only/can only be enforced for spaces that AB 'owns' which is the Hynes center in full and specific areas of the Sheraton hotel.
define "specific areas". you're being vague which is problematic given that AB rejects societal norms and the recommendations of the medical experts at the CDC in order to push the personal beliefs of their executive board.

likewise, in the areas where you are enforcing the arbitrary mandates (which weren't in place when you took pre-reg money from many people), will AB attendees be held to different standards than venue staff? MCCA has publicly stated that their mandates are gone, so this nonsense is purely coming from you guys. will you be expecting us to comply with your unscientific nonsense while MCCA venue staff is exempt? that certainly makes it seem as though AB doesn't care about their attendees, which has been an ongoing trend this year.

it's a shame to see what was such a great convention heading in the wrong direction by way of mismanagement.
"Asking cosplayers to walk through a metal detector is like asking Axl Rose to take a drug test." -Bluebeard45
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Kalyoth »

reaper527 wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2022 6:24 pm
Nemra wrote: Sun Mar 27, 2022 7:05 pm
Goldfish221 wrote: Sat Mar 26, 2022 3:35 pm So can we expect the enforcement of this rule (if not changed by con time) will be for the Hynes, and I'm guessing panel rooms of the Sheraton only. But in the hallways of the Sheraton, and the pru, while we're in transit to AB we will not need to wear masks?
Correct. The mask requirement will only/can only be enforced for spaces that AB 'owns' which is the Hynes center in full and specific areas of the Sheraton hotel.
define "specific areas". you're being vague which is problematic given that AB rejects societal norms and the recommendations of the medical experts at the CDC in order to push the personal beliefs of their executive board.

likewise, in the areas where you are enforcing the arbitrary mandates (which weren't in place when you took pre-reg money from many people), will AB attendees be held to different standards than venue staff? MCCA has publicly stated that their mandates are gone, so this nonsense is purely coming from you guys. will you be expecting us to comply with your unscientific nonsense while MCCA venue staff is exempt? that certainly makes it seem as though AB doesn't care about their attendees, which has been an ongoing trend this year.

it's a shame to see what was such a great convention heading in the wrong direction by way of mismanagement.
Not Staff - If you & anyone truly are offended by the rules any entity puts in place at a private function, you as a private citizen, have the right to vote with your feet & just not attend the function. I would imagine that there was discussion & legal votes by an organization that performs the event on any & every move made for the function.

As much as many of us have missed our recreational activities, the last two years has taught many the newly rediscovered lesson that their time & enjoyment are meaningful & that they can live with whatever decision they make.

Accept it or don't go - that basically is your choice in the end as the general public.
"Thou who art darker than even darkness,
Thou who art deeper than even the night!
Thou, the Sea of Chaos, who drifts upon it,
Golden Lord of Darkness!
Hereby I call to thee,
Hereby I swear before thee!
Those who would stand against us,
All those who are fools,
By the power you and I possess,
Grant destruction equally upon them all!
GIGA SLAVE!"
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by reaper527 »

Kalyoth wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2022 7:08 pm
reaper527 wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2022 6:24 pm
Nemra wrote: Sun Mar 27, 2022 7:05 pm
Goldfish221 wrote: Sat Mar 26, 2022 3:35 pm So can we expect the enforcement of this rule (if not changed by con time) will be for the Hynes, and I'm guessing panel rooms of the Sheraton only. But in the hallways of the Sheraton, and the pru, while we're in transit to AB we will not need to wear masks?
Correct. The mask requirement will only/can only be enforced for spaces that AB 'owns' which is the Hynes center in full and specific areas of the Sheraton hotel.
define "specific areas". you're being vague which is problematic given that AB rejects societal norms and the recommendations of the medical experts at the CDC in order to push the personal beliefs of their executive board.

likewise, in the areas where you are enforcing the arbitrary mandates (which weren't in place when you took pre-reg money from many people), will AB attendees be held to different standards than venue staff? MCCA has publicly stated that their mandates are gone, so this nonsense is purely coming from you guys. will you be expecting us to comply with your unscientific nonsense while MCCA venue staff is exempt? that certainly makes it seem as though AB doesn't care about their attendees, which has been an ongoing trend this year.

it's a shame to see what was such a great convention heading in the wrong direction by way of mismanagement.
Not Staff - If you & anyone truly are offended by the rules any entity puts in place at a private function, you as a private citizen, have the right to vote with your feet & just not attend the function. I would imagine that there was discussion & legal votes by an organization that performs the event on any & every move made for the function.

As much as many of us have missed our recreational activities, the last two years has taught many the newly rediscovered lesson that their time & enjoyment are meaningful & that they can live with whatever decision they make.

Accept it or don't go - that basically is your choice in the end as the general public.
you're overlooking the 3rd option which is vocalize the discontent with how poorly the staff is handling this issue while urging them to employ common sense. their policies are out of line with societal norms and the recommendations of the CDC. a few individuals who are drunk on power want to force their individual choices on everyone else. nobody is saying people shouldn't be allowed to wear masks, we're saying AB is overstepping their bounds by forcing their own personal beliefs on everyone.

there's a reason AB isn't asking the attendees what their opinion is. they know the vast majority of attendees believe these policies should be left up to personal choice and know it would look bad if that simple reality was openly visible.

in the last month we've seen everyplace in massachusetts drop this nonsense from schools to sports arenas to the actual venues hosting the event. it's time for AB to get in line with the rest of society. the time of mask mandates is over. we heard for 2 years "trust the science", but now anime boston is rejecting the science because it doesn't line up with their own personal agendas. they hide behind their smug "we're not a school" response as justification for why that's not relevant, but they are a convention, and there have been maskless conventions in MCCA buildings since the mandates went away because this is the social norm. it's just like how they say they can't change the rules "because they were in place when people signed up" while completely disregarding the people who signed up when this nonsense wasn't in place. AB is basically a used car salesman at this point who will tell misleading half truths to get people to fall in line.

lets ask a couple simple questions: why is anime boston staff anti-science? why are these anti-science individuals more qualified than the CDC to tell people if they need to wear a mask?

hopefully everyone tells AB exactly what they think, because the nonsense AB is shoving down everyone's throats isn't popular. if AB wants to dispute that statement, they can prove it with a poll on their social media outlets. that would actually involve caring about the attendees though, and we know they don't do that.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Kalyoth »

reaper527 wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2022 8:25 pm
you're overlooking the 3rd option which is vocalize the discontent with how poorly the staff is handling this issue while urging them to employ common sense. their policies are out of line with societal norms and the recommendations of the CDC. a few individuals who are drunk on power want to force their individual choices on everyone else. nobody is saying people shouldn't be allowed to wear masks, we're saying AB is overstepping their bounds by forcing their own personal beliefs on everyone.

there's a reason AB isn't asking the attendees what their opinion is. they know the vast majority of attendees believe these policies should be left up to personal choice and know it would look bad if that simple reality was openly visible.

in the last month we've seen everyplace in massachusetts drop this nonsense from schools to sports arenas to the actual venues hosting the event. it's time for AB to get in line with the rest of society. the time of mask mandates is over. we heard for 2 years "trust the science", but now anime boston is rejecting the science because it doesn't line up with their own personal agendas. they hide behind their smug "we're not a school" response as justification for why that's not relevant, but they are a convention, and there have been maskless conventions in MCCA buildings since the mandates went away because this is the social norm. it's just like how they say they can't change the rules "because they were in place when people signed up" while completely disregarding the people who signed up when this nonsense wasn't in place. AB is basically a used car salesman at this point who will tell misleading half truths to get people to fall in line.

lets ask a couple simple questions: why is anime boston staff anti-science? why are these anti-science individuals more qualified than the CDC to tell people if they need to wear a mask?

hopefully everyone tells AB exactly what they think, because the nonsense AB is shoving down everyone's throats isn't popular. if AB wants to dispute that statement, they can prove it with a poll on their social media outlets. that would actually involve caring about the attendees though, and we know they don't do that.
You forget - the only thing a private entity listens to is the flow of money. Sure, you can pick a fight vocally with them. Won't get you anyplace because, they do not have to do anything. The push for change only comes from one side. They have to make the decision themselves to implement any rules they wish to have or not in place.

I am not a fan of the rules & circumstances have lead me to no longer attend this year after attending for over 15 consecutive years. This may be the hill you choose to die upon, but, expect this behavior to be a seasonal occurrence for years. It took decades to recover from the Influenza's "Flu" severity, which occurs every winter.

Another option - join the secretive group that enacts the rules & regulations for the convention & try to reform there. Have tried to find public information for over a decade on it as well as how to join it & have had no luck. It all links just back to the convention stuff or old & outdated information.
"Thou who art darker than even darkness,
Thou who art deeper than even the night!
Thou, the Sea of Chaos, who drifts upon it,
Golden Lord of Darkness!
Hereby I call to thee,
Hereby I swear before thee!
Those who would stand against us,
All those who are fools,
By the power you and I possess,
Grant destruction equally upon them all!
GIGA SLAVE!"
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Faceman »

Hey everyone, long time reader, long time poster.

I'm going to try to address some of the concerns/points that people have been making and try to explain our reasoning behind our decisions. I know I'm not going to convince some of the more vocal participants of this conversation, but this is more for other other people reading this thread.

Why the vaccine and/or mask requirement? I hate vaccines and/or masks. Or I hate showing that I have the vaccine, etc. etc. etc.

The simple fact is, we don't know what's coming down the road. If we've learned anything the last 2 years, is that we have no idea what's coming at us with this pandemic until it's already here. Whenever there's news about a new variant or subvariant, the answer is always that it was here weeks before anyone even knew for sure.

That's exactly what happened at Anime NYC in 2021. Omicron was already here, but no one knew it. Per the CDC investigation, the primary reason it didn't turn into a super-spreader event was the prevalence of vaccinated participants and masks. We don't know what's coming down the road, and we would much rather be prepared than not. No one wants to have their name in headlines as a super-spreader event.

As a corollary to "we have no idea what's coming at us," the city could easily change to require masks and vaccines again if the numbers go up in Boston. Mayor Wu has said the city has metrics to determine when it's necessary in response to rising cases, infection rates, hospital rates, etc. For all we know, we could get to the first week of May and suddenly be required by the city to require masks and/or vaccines to operate.

If we changed our policy at this time, people who had pre-registered would no longer attend. People who weren't going to go would maybe now attend. But then everything could change again in 3 weeks and it's a complete flip. We cannot reasonably predict what the situation is, so we need to make a choice that is the most feasible for what may come and stick with it for consistency.

We also have to be aware of deadlines as far as orders go (advertising, printed material, supplies), and contracts (vendors, contractors, the city and state). It's not feasible to make a decision on all of those, send everything out, and then try to change it all after the fact. At some point you make the best decision you can and run with it.

On top of all that, and absolutely not least, we are a volunteer organization. 100%, top-down. No one gets a paycheck from this. We need to provide an environment that takes into consideration the health and safety of our staff, and do whatever we can to protect it. There are already people on staff who aren't returning for 2022, specifically because they don't feel comfortable with an event this size, regardless of what protection we offer. If we dropped our requirements, I can say with absolute certainty there would be another large segment of staff who don't return.

If we don't have the staff to put on our convention, it doesn't happen. End of line.

I don't like that you're requiring these things, and I'm not going to attend.

We understand. Really, we wish we didn't have to either, but from our point (as I stated above) we believe it's a necessity and in our best interests long term.

If you don't want to attend our event because of this, we understand if you don't. That's your prerogative. We hope you'll come back whenever we can safely hold an event without needing these precautions.

We also know if we didn't require these things, there would be another segment of the attendee base that wouldn't attend.

This is a no-win scenario for everyone. We are doing what we believe is in the best interests of our attendees, staff, guests, exhibitors, and the long-term continuation of this event.

How do I get to where I can enact change about this?

These decisions are not made by any one person, but by a committee of the Anime Boston executives, and approved by the New England Anime Society Board of Directors.

There are 11 members of the Anime Boston Executive Board, and 7 members of the NEAS Board of Directors. The list of members are here: https://www.animeboston.com/staff/staff_listing/ Everyone on that list is unpaid, from the President of NEAS and Chair of Anime Boston on down.

How do you become one of them? You join Anime Boston staff first. That requires volunteering time and effort to the operation of our organization. You demonstrate an ability to work as a member of a larger team.

You show that you are dependable, respectful, and considerate.

After a few years on Anime Boston staff you may get a promotion to a management position with even more responsibility with the same amount of rewards (none). It's now your job to take care of the staff in your department (3-150 people) and make sure your team hits all of its goals and deliverables. And still provide a safe, fun, and enjoyable experience for our attendees.

Every year AB staff hold an election for the next year's executive board. Anyone can run for any position if they're nominated. But typically (not always) an incumbent executive will win their election. After all, if they're doing a good job, why replace them? But every few years there's no incumbent, and their position is open. The staff will elect the person they believe is best experienced, qualified, and reflects the values we hold as an organization.

Now as an Executive, it's your job to take care of all the staff in all of the departments under your Division (50-300 people), while also being responsible for everything that happens within it. In addition, you have to consider the larger picture of what happens to the convention as a whole, and how your decisions impact it and all of the staff (700-850 people), and all of the attendees, exhibitors, contractors, and guests (25,000 people).

For the NEAS Board, an election is held at the end of every fiscal year. While anyone can be elected to the Board, they have to be nominated by a current board member. To even have a chance of being elected, the nominee will have to have demonstrated to the Board that they are responsible, trustworthy, and serious about the obligations they wish to undertake.

The NEAS Board elections are not taken lightly and a candidates merits are debated and reviewed among the Board Members. The NEAS Board of Directors are the people with actual financial and legal obligations and responsibilities under the law. So the current Board Members have to ensure that whoever follows them are up to their strict requirements. They are ultimately responsible for what happens with the convention and organization, and are the ones who have to answer if anything goes wrong.

All that's a long-winded way to say, I am completely certain that the people who made these decisions absolutely know what they are doing. They are making the best decisions they can with the information they have.

I say this as someone who served for several years on both the Anime Boston Executive Board, and the NEAS Board of Directors. I stepped down a couple years ago because of my own life changes, but also because I was confident in the ability and dedication of my colleagues and knew they would take care of things as well as I would. This has not changed my opinion of them in the slightest.

=====================================
Also, thanks for the notice on the NEAS website being out of date. With not much happening the last couple of years, it's fallen off our radar, and I hope to have it cleaned up in the next few months.
Chris O'Connell
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Goldfish221
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Goldfish221 »

Kalyoth wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2022 7:08 pm If you & anyone truly are offended by the rules any entity puts in place at a private function, you as a private citizen, have the right to vote with your feet & just not attend the function. I would imagine that there was discussion & legal votes by an organization that performs the event on any & every move made for the function.

As much as many of us have missed our recreational activities, the last two years has taught many the newly rediscovered lesson that their time & enjoyment are meaningful & that they can live with whatever decision they make.

Accept it or don't go - that basically is your choice in the end as the general public.
To anyone that has been pre-registered and can't get a refund at this point its a loss of $60 - $90 (estimated numbers because I can't remember what I paid 2 years ago, and I already forgot the exact price increase), plus hotel and travel plans. I know I hate to lose money for stupid reasons. Heck or high water I will be going to AB regardless how I feel about masks. But at the end of the day how many con-goers will be in the Pru and in areas that don't have mask rules and if covid really does spread AB will still probably be blamed either way. But it does make more sense if it's to appease staff, because no staff does equal no con.

I fully support if the city puts a mandate in for masks then yes, masks should be worn by everyone at all times. But if it's not community effort con-goers and normal people that we will be interacting with throughout the day it seems like a moot point. Because covid, colds, flu's will transfer and get into the con anyways.

We can't really "vote with our wallet" if there isn't a refund policy in place. By not showing up AB gets the money anyways. So may as well go at least for 2022.

On a side note, I will say Faceman's post does have really good points and I get why it is the way it is. But there are large conventions out there like Colossal con and Anime Matsuri which plan to run as normal or have run normal since 2021. And people will still wear masks, but its at the peoples choice not mandated or in the rules. Because I full believe even once conventions don't have mask rules in place people will still wear masks and that okay. It's a choice at that point.
~Anime Boston 2022 Cosplay Line Up~

Jeanne D'arc Alter - Fate Grand Order
Lady Nagant - My Hero Academia
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by waynoinsano »

I'm expecting mass non compliance on the masks an hour or 2 after doors if Ri was any example. I wonder what the staffs orders will be on enforcing the origination running RIComic told all volunteers to ask people to mask but not to push if ignored, they didn't want their volunteer staff to get in potential conflicts with congoers for their safety. So we just didn't even bother to ask people to mask.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by reaper527 »

Faceman wrote: Thu Mar 31, 2022 4:20 pm As a corollary to "we have no idea what's coming at us," the city could easily change to require masks and vaccines again if the numbers go up in Boston. Mayor Wu has said the city has metrics to determine when it's necessary in response to rising cases, infection rates, hospital rates, etc.
people are understanding of that. the fact of the matter is that RIGHT NOW, mayor wu says this isn't the case.

the whole "things could change" excuse doesn't really hold up given AB's history. if you recall, you announced and implemented metal detectors what, like a week before the convention the first year you had them? AB has already proven that changes can and will be made at the last possible minute when required by city/state/venue requirements coming at inopportune times. mayor wu or governor baker COULD implement a 250 person cap the 2nd week of may. should anime boston just not plan to hold an event because that could happen?

at the end of the day people look at what is in anime boston's control and what isn't. if the city or the venue had a mandate in place then we might disagree with it, but we acknowledge AB has no real say in the matter. that's not the case here. AB is 100% in control of this decision. nobody is forcing their hand and making them do this.
Faceman wrote: Thu Mar 31, 2022 4:20 pm No one wants to have their name in headlines as a super-spreader event.

here's the reality of the situation: if it's going to happen, it's going to happen regardless of what anime boston's policies are. people can argue about how effective/ineffective masks are, but at the end of the day you've seen the sea of people outside of the hynes where AB (thankfully) has zero say over the policy.

you can enact all the preventative policies you want, but at the end of the day AB either will or won't be a "super spreader event" and those policies will have no bearing on that.
Faceman wrote: Thu Mar 31, 2022 4:20 pm If we changed our policy at this time, people who had pre-registered would no longer attend. People who weren't going to go would maybe now attend. But then everything could change again in 3 weeks and it's a complete flip.
i will point out (again) that AB has NEVER asked the attendees for input on what the people who go think. do you have any numbers for what percentage of attendees support these policies versus those that oppose them? it's one thing to say "you can't please everyone", but the odds are very high that if you actually asked the attendees what we think, you'd find that you're catering to 5-10% at the expense of the other 90-95%.
waynoinsano wrote: Thu Mar 31, 2022 6:45 pm I'm expecting mass non compliance on the masks an hour or 2 after doors if Ri was any example. I wonder what the staffs orders will be on enforcing the origination running RIComic told all volunteers to ask people to mask but not to push if ignored, they didn't want their volunteer staff to get in potential conflicts with congoers for their safety. So we just didn't even bother to ask people to mask.
that's actually consistent with what i've seen pretty much everywhere over the last year from concerts in boston and worcester, to sporting events, to the topsfield fair. society as a whole has moved on from the mask issue and those who want to wear them do, while those who don't simply ignore policies in large numbers.
"Asking cosplayers to walk through a metal detector is like asking Axl Rose to take a drug test." -Bluebeard45
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Kagomechan »

Goldfish221 wrote: Thu Mar 31, 2022 6:19 pm But there are large conventions out there like Colossal con and Anime Matsuri which plan to run as normal or have run normal since 2021. And people will still wear masks, but its at the peoples choice not mandated or in the rules. Because I full believe even once conventions don't have mask rules in place people will still wear masks and that okay. It's a choice at that point.
On the flip side, there are other large events that are still requiring vaccination and masks even though the local mandates have expired, including PAX East here in Boston and Sakuracon in Seattle both occurring later this month.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Kalyoth »

Faceman wrote: Thu Mar 31, 2022 4:20 pm Hey everyone, long time reader, long time poster.
=====================================
Also, thanks for the notice on the NEAS website being out of date. With not much happening the last couple of years, it's fallen off our radar, and I hope to have it cleaned up in the next few months.
Thanks for the response. You are correct - no matter how you roll over, there will always be a segment that walks away. It's a societal catch 22. I would suggest for long term planning, you reference how the Spanish Flu played out (100 years old & still causing trouble annually) as this is the closest historical comparison. It is still here & comes back each season, primed & ready for Anime Boston.

I do have one question - any idea if Anime Boston has access to an expanded selection of future dates considering the state is claiming the Hynes is horribly underbooked now - allowing for a date change to warmer weather? That would help with environmental viruses like the Flu as they tend to significantly lessen in such a climate. Just an idea to consider for those horribly cold months we tend to get stuck with...
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by waynoinsano »

Faceman wrote: Thu Mar 31, 2022 4:20 pm
I'm going to try to address some of the concerns/points that people have been making and try to explain our reasoning behind our decisions. I know I'm not going to convince some of the more vocal participants of this conversation, but this is more for other other people reading this thread.
The big question that each AB staff member who has posted is avoiding is what is the policy for people that would want a refund if they brought passes before all this AB 19 was 3 years ago now and before masks/vaccines and either don't want or were medically advised not to get it. AB took their money now 3 years later tell them tough ____. I've seen different answers from AB had no refund policy to no but email registration. Which is it no, seems illegal to add a vaccine mandate without offering refunds if wanted, or Yes and contact registration. I've seen it asked multiple times by different people and yet AB staff refuses to publicly state here or on other social media what the exact policy is. It's almost like they are afraid of a mass of refund requests if they stated it was available.

I'm able to get the vaccine, even if I don't need it. My wife works at a nursing home so when all this started she quarantined herself and I did all the shopping in public before masks and as soon as public masking was lifted I stopped wearing one unvaxed. I'll pointlessly get one to attend but for those who can't rules should be clearly stated.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Kalyoth »

waynoinsano wrote: Fri Apr 01, 2022 11:24 pm The big question that each AB staff member who has posted is avoiding is what is the policy for people that would want a refund if they brought passes before all this AB 19 was 3 years ago now and before masks/vaccines and either don't want or were medically advised not to get it. AB took their money now 3 years later tell them tough ____. I've seen different answers from AB had no refund policy to no but email registration. Which is it no, seems illegal to add a vaccine mandate without offering refunds if wanted, or Yes and contact registration. I've seen it asked multiple times by different people and yet AB staff refuses to publicly state here or on other social media what the exact policy is. It's almost like they are afraid of a mass of refund requests if they stated it was available.

I'm able to get the vaccine, even if I don't need it. My wife works at a nursing home so when all this started she quarantined herself and I did all the shopping in public before masks and as soon as public masking was lifted I stopped wearing one unvaxed. I'll pointlessly get one to attend but for those who can't rules should be clearly stated.
Only one department would ever officially discuss the point you are pushing. It is no simple thing to state that response publicly because, it locks them into it going forward once declared. On top of that, every individual situation is unique & would have to be considered separately. There is also the implication that, when money is involved, there are legal proceedures required to be followed spelt out by decades/centuries of established law. That is very likely the why you need to contact them via the contact form on the main page.

What people want to be very simple just is not that way.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by waynoinsano »

Actually pretty simple and easy to say: if you brought before vaccine mandate was issued yes or no. I know each case would need to go to registration but they will not even give that much.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by reaper527 »

Kagomechan wrote: Fri Apr 01, 2022 12:04 pm On the flip side, there are other large events that are still requiring vaccination and masks even though the local mandates have expired, including PAX East here in Boston and Sakuracon in Seattle both occurring later this month.
it remains to be seen what this looks like in practice. the venue isn't requiring that nonsense, so who's going to enforce it? it seems unlikely MCCA security guards are going to get involved with enforcing a policy that isn't their own. this means you'll have redshirts doing it.

at topsfield fair last year the city imposed a mandate that "all indoors areas required masks". in practice, i saw one staffer saying something to people at the beginning of the day in one building, and never heard a word from anyone else the rest of the day. (around 75-80% of attendees were unmasked in buildings).

when i was at the palladium last october for a concert they had signs on all the doors saying masks were required. in practice, i saw 1 person wearing a mask the entire night. not even venue staff were wearing them. not the bartenders, not the merch booth, not even the security guards doing pat downs.

when policies are out of line with social norms, they get ignored by people and in large enough numbers that there isn't much a team of volunteers (who may be split on the policy anyways) is going to be able to do, especially at the risk of conflict over enforcing.

i've been at shows (on the other side of the guard rails, not as an attendee) where i've seen security be instructed "we'll make an announcement at the show letting everyone that there is a mask mandate in this city. if people don't follow it, don't bother them, it's up to them".

there can be a world of difference between "posted policy" and "actual policy".

Kalyoth wrote: Sat Apr 02, 2022 12:12 pm On top of that, every individual situation is unique & would have to be considered separately. There is also the implication that, when money is involved, there are legal proceedures required to be followed spelt out by decades/centuries of established law.
you're over complicating things. if someone bought their ticket before this nonsense was imposed, they should be eligible for a refund. their reasoning and circumstances are irrelevant other than "did they buy before the 2020 cancellation".

as it stands right now i'm not planning on pre-regg'ing for 2023 at the 2022 merch booth because i have zero trust that AB won't impose new arbitrary restrictions that would prevent me from going (with no refunds offered). their refund policy is absurd, and legally questionable.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Kagomechan »

reaper527 wrote: Sat Apr 02, 2022 4:17 pm
Kagomechan wrote: Fri Apr 01, 2022 12:04 pm On the flip side, there are other large events that are still requiring vaccination and masks even though the local mandates have expired, including PAX East here in Boston and Sakuracon in Seattle both occurring later this month.
it remains to be seen what this looks like in practice. the venue isn't requiring that nonsense, so who's going to enforce it? it seems unlikely MCCA security guards are going to get involved with enforcing a policy that isn't their own. this means you'll have redshirts doing it.
I'm going to Sakuracon in less than two weeks. We'll see how it goes. :)
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by waynoinsano »

Kagomechan wrote: Sat Apr 02, 2022 6:59 pm

I'm going to Sakuracon in less than two weeks. We'll see how it goes. :)
Something like this. This is how RIComiccon's mask mandate worked.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by basharoftheages »

waynoinsano wrote: Sat Apr 02, 2022 11:27 pm
Kagomechan wrote: Sat Apr 02, 2022 6:59 pm

I'm going to Sakuracon in less than two weeks. We'll see how it goes. :)
Something like this. This is how RIComiccon's mask mandate worked.
Image
Sakura-Con's venue security threatens to pull badges for people standing around blocking escalators. They'd gleefully eject and trespass folks.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by reaper527 »

waynoinsano wrote: Sat Apr 02, 2022 11:27 pm Something like this. This is how RIComiccon's mask mandate worked.
Image
that's pretty consistent with just about every "masks required" event i've been at since last fall. (and what you saw on tv when looking at the crowds at various sports events). you've got the 1 guy in the shot that has one, and that's it.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by ULTI-mages »

Were in the endemic now, even the White house says so. Virus's evole to suit their host, when, not if we get another vareint its going to be milder then omicron which is milder then delta. Plus we have medication. This will follow us forevor as another sesonal disease like the flu which also had it's own pandemic. This isn't Democrat ve Rebulican debate anymore.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Faceman »

Everyone, we're going to reign this thread back onto topic.

We aren't discussing what other conventions are or are not doing. They are not us.
We aren't discussing the geopolitical ramifications of the pandemic for the next 100 years. That's beyond our scope.
We aren't discussing how people may attempt to ignore or circumvent the COVID policy.

We are discussing Anime Boston's COVID policy for the 2022 convention. This policy is not going away. The requirement for masks and vaccinations will remain.

If you have a specific question about the policy and/or compliance, please feel free to ask and we will do our best to answer it.

If you have questions specific to your own registration for Anime Boston 2022, the best option is to Contact Registration Customer Service. They will assist you with your question or issue. This also applies if the COVID policy conflicts with any medical exemptions you may have.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Mae-Gwyn »

Hi! Quick question for any admin. I will be coming to AB from Canada and I was wondering if the con will accept the Vaccine Passport issued by the Canadian government? We don't have any CDC issued vaccination proof however we do have a QR code that can be used to verify the validity of the passport.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by suza »

Hello!

Yes, international vaccine passports/documentation issued by your government will be accepted.

Please let us know if you have any further questions!
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by reaper527 »

the federal travel mandate just ended, so now AB is the only one pushing this draconian, anti-science nonsense.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by saffieb »

I’m just curious, when you say fully vaccinated, is that including the two booster shots? I only have the first one, and I started vaccinating late so I’m not able to get the second one just yet.

I know the CDC site says the second isn’t necessary, but I wanted to make sure AB didn’t want to go further yet. Thanks!

(And just to toss in my two cents, if there was no mask mandate, I would not be attending this year. I don’t care what anyone else says, better safe than sorry. I’ve been an essential worker throughout this whole pandemic and I’m still wearing my mask for 6-7 hours a day without the state issued mandate. I have friends in the medical field who still advise to wear masks. I’m not going to risk my family and friend’s health because some people are too stubborn to follow a simple rule that may be a slight inconvenience. It isn’t the end of the world if you have to wear a mask. If Anime Boston wants to put the mandate in place, that’s their prerogative, whether you like it or not. I’m actually excited because I made my mask to match my cosplay. 💜)

Keep up the good work Anime Boston. Keep everyone safe. And you all stay safe as well. 🥰
Last edited by saffieb on Mon Apr 18, 2022 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Nemra »

saffieb wrote: Mon Apr 18, 2022 10:38 pm I’m just curious, when you say fully vaccinated, is that including the two booster shots? I only have the first one, and I started vaccinating late so I’m not able to get the second one just yet.

I know the CDC site says the second isn’t necessary, but I wanted to make sure AB didn’t want to go further yet. Thanks!
we're following the CDC definition of 'Fully Vaccinated' and that does not include any boosters
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by saffieb »

Thank you! 🥰

Now I can rest easy and get ready for the Con!
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Sayoria »

Faceman wrote: Tue Apr 05, 2022 2:13 pm
We are discussing Anime Boston's COVID policy for the 2022 convention. This policy is not going away. The requirement for masks and vaccinations will remain.
So, sorry, I am not up to speed here and looked on the front page and maybe just overlooked it.

Are vaccines then mandatory? For me, it doesn't matter. I am vaxxed and boosted. But I just want to know if I'll need my vaccine card at the badge pickup.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Faceman »

Sayoria wrote: Mon Apr 18, 2022 11:42 pm
Faceman wrote: Tue Apr 05, 2022 2:13 pm
We are discussing Anime Boston's COVID policy for the 2022 convention. This policy is not going away. The requirement for masks and vaccinations will remain.
So, sorry, I am not up to speed here and looked on the front page and maybe just overlooked it.

Are vaccines then mandatory? For me, it doesn't matter. I am vaxxed and boosted. But I just want to know if I'll need my vaccine card at the badge pickup.
Yes, please see the entire policy here: https://www.animeboston.com/coninfo/covid_policies

Thank you.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by TeaMan89 »

reaper527 wrote: Mon Apr 18, 2022 10:00 pm the federal travel mandate just ended, so now AB is the only one pushing this draconian, anti-science nonsense.
FFS give it up. They will let us know if their policy changes. Your kicking, screaming and calling the move draconian is watering down the meaning of the word and provides nothing productive to the table. Step back, take whatever break you need too, and get yourself level. Honestly it’s personalities like you that are gonna end up souring AB this year, and it hasn’t even arrived yet.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Goldfish221 »

TeaMan89 wrote: Tue Apr 19, 2022 5:26 pm
reaper527 wrote: Mon Apr 18, 2022 10:00 pm the federal travel mandate just ended, so now AB is the only one pushing this draconian, anti-science nonsense.
FFS give it up. They will let us know if their policy changes. Your kicking, screaming and calling the move draconian is watering down the meaning of the word and provides nothing productive to the table. Step back, take whatever break you need too, and get yourself level. Honestly it’s personalities like you that are gonna end up souring AB this year, and it hasn’t even arrived yet.
The mask rules for AB are excessive at this point as more and more places are becoming optional. It doesn't make sense that in one place you have to wear a mask and the next you don't. We have seen indoor areas full like the AEW show at Agganis arena which held 7200+ people. And that event has not been deemed a super spreader event and a lot of people did not wear masks, some did but majority were maskless.

But don't think Reaper is the only one that has this opinion. What ever the rules are at the time of the con must be followed but, it is good to let AB know how we feel as con goers.

I know I wish we could take off the mask if we are able to be away from others or for pictures. If it's a crowded panel room or ballroom then yeah put the mask on if need.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by TeaMan89 »

Goldfish221 wrote: Tue Apr 19, 2022 6:25 pm
TeaMan89 wrote: Tue Apr 19, 2022 5:26 pm
reaper527 wrote: Mon Apr 18, 2022 10:00 pm the federal travel mandate just ended, so now AB is the only one pushing this draconian, anti-science nonsense.
FFS give it up. They will let us know if their policy changes. Your kicking, screaming and calling the move draconian is watering down the meaning of the word and provides nothing productive to the table. Step back, take whatever break you need too, and get yourself level. Honestly it’s personalities like you that are gonna end up souring AB this year, and it hasn’t even arrived yet.
The mask rules for AB are excessive at this point as more and more places are becoming optional. It doesn't make sense that in one place you have to wear a mask and the next you don't. We have seen indoor areas full like the AEW show at Agganis arena which held 7200+ people. And that event has not been deemed a super spreader event and a lot of people did not wear masks, some did but majority were maskless.

But don't think Reaper is the only one that has this opinion. What ever the rules are at the time of the con must be followed but, it is good to let AB know how we feel as con goers.

I know I wish we could take off the mask if we are able to be away from others or for pictures. If it's a crowded panel room or ballroom then yeah put the mask on if need.
Agreed that feedback should be welcomed, but someone like Reaper calling the policies draconic is blowing it out of proportion.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it changes closer to the con date to avoid the confusion of constant flow of indecisive and constant changing of positions (easier to have 1 late update rather than a reactionary 20)

Main point is let them take a fracking minute to assess and process if adjustments need to be made. Constantly going after the staff about not updating immediately is not going to do anyone much good.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by reaper527 »

TeaMan89 wrote: Tue Apr 19, 2022 5:26 pm Honestly it’s personalities like you that are gonna end up souring AB this year, and it hasn’t even arrived yet.
no, it's shitty policies like this which are being imposed become some staffer gets off on forcing their personal, unscientific beliefs (which contradict CDC recommendations) on people.

it's one thing to say the recommend masks, it's a complete other thing to mandate them at a time when the cdc, venue, city, state, and everyone else has said these mandates are no longer necessary.

AB is picking and choosing which parts of the CDC recommendations they want to follow using them as a backing for what they want to do, while pretending they don't exist for the stuff the CDC doesn't agree with. if someone wants to wear a mask, go for it. nobody cares. forcing someone else to wear a mask when medical experts deem it unnecessary? different story.

AB staff are the ones who are souring the event, and i hope there is a mass wave of resignations following the con.

i do wonder if AB can afford to be driving people away with draconian policies at a time like this, because it was reported that refund checks were bouncing back in 2021. being out of line with society as a whole isn't how you get more people in the door.

i know i won't be pre-reging for 2023 as i have zero confidence AB won't arbitrarily impose new restrictions after taking my money as they did for this year's con. (while spewing crocodile tears about how unfair that practice is as a justification for why they can't set it back to how it was when they took my money)
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Nemra »

Please keep this message board clear for people with actual questions regarding the policy.

This will also be my final warning against conjecture. There is so much conflating facts with fiction in this thread on how AB operates and it only furthers conspiracy theories and resentment for things that are simply not true by nitpicking facts to suit a narrative.

As stated several times before, the policies are not changing. Simply put, without going into detail that we can't discuss, there would not be an Anime Boston 2022 without them.

Whether other facilities choose to require them or not, is irrelevant because they are required for our event regardless. We are all separate entities and can make our own decisions with the risks we are willing to take. That goes for every individual as well.

If you have feedback, save it for when we have our feedback board up during/after the convention.

Regarding bounced checks, yes, we had 26 bounced checks due to human error. Those 26 individuals received their new checks in the mail once we were able to identify where and how the error occurred. It's not an exciting answer, but most things aren't.

Thank you.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Rhys Ifane »

I just want to say thank you to AB Staff and especially Nemra here for doing the best they can given the ever changing landscape. As someone who has worked as an EMT and now in an emergency room over the last 10 years, I am glad to see that you are all collectively doing your research and providing the safest logistically plausible environment for us all to come together as a community and show our love for anime/manga/etc. Boston has traditionally had higher standards than most when it comes to health and science and Anime Boston appears to be no different.

The only question I currently have is in regards to food consumption inside the Hynes. Forgive me if the information I'm going off of is out of date, but I did hear that outside food and drink will no be allowed inside the Hynes. What will the food options inside the Hynes look like and will there be a designated area for people to sit down and eat?
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Nemra »

Rhys Ifane wrote: Wed Apr 20, 2022 12:46 pm The only question I currently have is in regards to food consumption inside the Hynes. Forgive me if the information I'm going off of is out of date, but I did hear that outside food and drink will no be allowed inside the Hynes. What will the food options inside the Hynes look like and will there be a designated area for people to sit down and eat?
'No outside food' has generally been the rule previously so nothing has changed on that front. The only designated 'eating area' we have is the Maid Cafe but there are none outside of that, and even then it is limited to the menu options of the cafe.

I'll ask our Ops director and see if the facilities are planning on having their vendor stalls this year or no and get back to you.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Beagall »

Nemra wrote: Wed Apr 20, 2022 12:56 pm No outside food' has generally been the rule previously so nothing has changed on that front. The only designated 'eating area' we have is the Maid Cafe but there are none outside of that, and even then it is limited to the menu options of the cafe.

I'll ask our Ops director and see if the facilities are planning on having their vendor stalls this year or no and get back to you.
My understanding of the "no outside food" thing in previous years was that it applied to selling or distributing food to others if you're not the vendor contracted by the MCCA to provide food services to the Hynes, so no selling Pocky in the Dealer's Room. I don't recall attendees bringing in food solely for themselves being an issue in the past, and even now I don't see any mention of it being disallowed in the convention policies. I'm pretty sure it would be a new policy if we can't have our own food with us.

Also, what about the larger cafeteria next to the Maid Cafe where the convention center has generally sold food and drinks in the past?
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Nemra »

nope! it applied to both instances but they've been lenient about it in the past on a 'non-vendor' level. It hasn't been a problem in the past but it's really their prerogative.
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by MomoMiraculous »

Nemra wrote: Wed Apr 20, 2022 11:03 pm nope! it applied to both instances but they've been lenient about it in the past on a 'non-vendor' level. It hasn't been a problem in the past but it's really their prerogative.
As someone with food allergies, it would be nice to know if I’d be allowed to carry food with me to eat that I know is safe. I’ve carried snacks in my bags before without any issue but I have been questioned before about medication I was carrying so it’s never really been consistent.
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Nemra
AB Executive
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Nemra »

Beagall wrote: Wed Apr 20, 2022 5:46 pm Also, what about the larger cafeteria next to the Maid Cafe where the convention center has generally sold food and drinks in the past?
Just received word that they are currently planning on having the cafeteria open
Nabil Samuel

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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by SM1 »

MomoMiraculous wrote: Thu Apr 21, 2022 1:22 pm As someone with food allergies, it would be nice to know if I’d be allowed to carry food with me to eat that I know is safe. I’ve carried snacks in my bags before without any issue but I have been questioned before about medication I was carrying so it’s never really been consistent.
Medication is a bit different as they don't want someone coming in to cosplay an unlicensed pharmaceutical distribution businessperson.

I've brought in my own food for every AB since it moved to the Hynes and never been chirped at by the MCCA staff. Ditto for Pax East @ the BCEC which is run by same entity and shares some staff. Realistically, they're just looking for guns, drugs, explosives, and knives.

And of course if you bring in food for fifty+, like the Cookie Brigade, they're going to stop that. Because at that point, to them you look like competition.
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TeaMan89
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by TeaMan89 »

Nemra wrote: Wed Apr 20, 2022 9:51 am Please keep this message board clear for people with actual questions regarding the policy.

This will also be my final warning against conjecture. There is so much conflating facts with fiction in this thread on how AB operates and it only furthers conspiracy theories and resentment for things that are simply not true by nitpicking facts to suit a narrative.

As stated several times before, the policies are not changing. Simply put, without going into detail that we can't discuss, there would not be an Anime Boston 2022 without them.

Whether other facilities choose to require them or not, is irrelevant because they are required for our event regardless. We are all separate entities and can make our own decisions with the risks we are willing to take. That goes for every individual as well.

If you have feedback, save it for when we have our feedback board up during/after the convention.

Regarding bounced checks, yes, we had 26 bounced checks due to human error. Those 26 individuals received their new checks in the mail once we were able to identify where and how the error occurred. It's not an exciting answer, but most things aren't.

Thank you.
Nemra (or other moderator that knows any info on this)

In regards to the policy, it mentions proper face coverings will be checked. Is there list on AB’ end of what is considered an approved face covering? (Besides the obvious ones, would a cloth mask with an adequate filter insert count as approved?

Thank you,
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Nemra
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Re: COVID Policy Update Anime Boston 2022

Post by Nemra »

TeaMan89 wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 6:10 pm In regards to the policy, it mentions proper face coverings will be checked. Is there list on AB’ end of what is considered an approved face covering? (Besides the obvious ones, would a cloth mask with an adequate filter insert count as approved?
no list but we are following CDC guidelines on proper masking.
Nabil Samuel

Director of PR

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