[sca-comments] Gulf Wars and the COVID-19

Aline Swynbroke alineswynbroke at gmail.com
Wed Mar 11 14:51:29 CDT 2020

Unto the Board of Directors, Greetings,

I am writing to express concern about the current decision to allow
Kingdoms and Events to make decisions on whether to proceed with events in
the face of COVID-19 on a case by case basis. As a local to Seattle, the
current epicenter of the crisis, I am seeing first hand the effects this
disease is having on us as a country. I am also seeing how woefully under
reported and under-tested we currently are. Currently, there are only
something like 167 confirmed cases in my state. However, the best
epidemiologists project we have thousands who are likely infected and
experiencing either mild symptoms or who are asymptomatic carriers.

As of this morning, the World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a
Global Pandemic.

Of specific concern to me is Gulf Wars. I started in the SCA in Ansteorra
and have attended the event (as well as Lilies and Pennsic). Even in the
best structured camps, hygiene at a war event is not what it is in every
day life. Even with extra vigilance. Even with hand washing stations. Even
with merchants with hand sanitizer on their tables. This is a disease that
lives for hours to days on surfaces. That passes when people touch those
surfaces and then their faces. Imagine the transfer from merchant's row.
>From common spaces in camps. From parties.

Courtesy and Chivalry are about what we do for the weakest among us, and
not just those who are members of the SCA. The fittest fighters may
contract this and take it home with them and suffer few ill effects. But
what of the immunocromised co-worker they share space with? Or the elderly
neighbor they shop beside? The precautions we take now in holding or not
holding events are not just about the duty to hold our events or postpone
or cancel them, as my own branch made the call to do this month. They are
about the duty we owe our members, our neighbors, and our communities.

These are not ordinary times. This is not an ordinary disease. And I urge
you to step in and make a call that keep the SCA from reenacting one of the
worst aspects of our time period- the spreading of plague far and wide.

Baroness Aline Swynbroke, OL
Sitting Baroness of the Barony of Wyewood, Kingdom of An Tir
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