The last few days have really been a roller-coaster ride. When I sent out my last message, I thought the picture looked less than rosy, but little imagined that the CDC was about to put us into the red risk zone. Their schedule is very inconvenient for us, but I don’t suppose they care much. They update their ratings on Thursday evenings, we see them on Fridays, and have at most a day or two to react.
Our COVID policy calls for us not to dance at all if we’re in a red zone, as the CDC’s criteria for that is that local hospitals are being stressed by COVID cases, so we’d be risking not only the health of our own dancers, but potentially risking delaying treatment for other community members. The board, therefore, canceled last Sunday’s English country dance, which was particularly painful to the band, which had been rehearsing the tunes and were looking forward to a delightful dance.
The board didn’t cancel next Saturday’s contra dance, though, because there was another CDC cycle before that, and just possibly we’d be back in the yellow. Right. Then last night, word emerged that hidden away in an obscure CDC technical page on COVID death statistics, there was a notice that starting yesterday a massive upgrade was being done to the National Vital Statistics System, so no new data would be reaching COVID dashboards and databases until June 21st! Clearly, we weren’t going to move into the yellow zone on Friday.
Our first thought was to look at data coming from the California Department of Public Health to see what the likely situation would be. It was disappointing. The most recent hospitalization data for our counties was last Friday’s, and the trend then was upward. A sensible suggestion was advanced to turn the dance into a concert, which the board considered, but our past experience has been that they cost the same to put on as dances, but are sparsely attended.
We understood when we returned to dancing that we’d be running deficits for a time, but there are limits to how long we can do that, so we tightened our belt. We hope to be back in action in July, but please remember to check the SCDS calendar before coming to a dance! The schedule might have to change quickly.