[sca-comments] Commentary: COVID-19 pandemic and Gulf Wars

Jeri Sisco jerisisco at gmail.com
Wed Mar 11 17:20:01 CDT 2020

Members of the SCA Board of Directors:

This morning I looked at the An Tir Kingdom Events calendar and cried.

Discussions about the intersection between public health and SCA events 
and activities have been percolating around An Tir since the COVID-19 
pandemic started getting press. It's been a rollercoaster.

Last week's decision to cancel all King County SCA activities and 
events, and this Monday's kingdom-wide Crown decision along the same 
lines, were not arrived at lightly. Those of us who have had a part in 
these discussions realize this suspension of activity hurts many areas 
of the Kingdom, but our obligation to the health and welfare of our 
populace is important enough to ask our brothers and sisters to manage 
and mitigate the impact of a temporary interruption.

I could explain and link to reliable sources about flattening the case 
curve to meter the impact on our health care capacity, about Typhoid 
Mary and why you don't want strangers from Seattle at your event, and 
about our duty to the most fragile of our citizens. Those who have a 
"Don't panic, this is mostly hype" perspective have already made up 
their minds, and my small voice doesn't make a difference.

I will say, that as an administrative servant of the SCA community, 
currently Kingdom Events officer, my focus has been creating a positive 
culture around event management, and providing the tools and support for 
event teams to succeed at and enjoy their jobs. Seeing the complete 
shutdown of all events for the rest of the month, the fruit of so many 
people's labor, is heartbreaking.

IT IS WORTH IT. It is the right decision.

Some chivalry oaths include the words, "To ever be a good knight and 
true, reverent and generous, shield of the weak..." In this, we are 
living that ideal; we are shielding the weak, acting truly with 
integrity and honor.

Given the values we all hold dear, why is the SCA continuing with Gulf 
Wars in the face of a worldwide pandemic? Do we really want to obligate 
volunteers representing the SCA to bravely face this new virus, and the 
serious probability that such an event will be an escalation point for 
viral contagion?

Please make the chivalrous and honorable decision to put lives of our 
populace before corporate risk management and site cancellation fees.

In service to the dream,

Meisterin Gera Gangolffin, OP
mka Jeri Sisco
Kingdom Events Officer, An Tir
Event Steward, Emprise of the Black Lion
Contingency Seneschal, Barony of Madrone
Apprentice to Countess Aryana Silknfyre

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