We are, as you're probably aware, closely monitoring the current covid-19 trends so we can make a determination on Myschievia 2021.
One of our Participants, an epidemiologist for the Emerging and Infectious Disease Unit with the state of Texas, has been working with the covid response since March and has been corresponding with us about probability for a burn this year. While no decisions have been made yet, we want to be as transparent as possible in decision making and are sharing his opinion, as it's coming from an actual scientist.
There are several factors we need more information on before a decision can be made.
1) The vaccine rollout. It's currently believed that herd immunity requires 70% or more of the population to be vaccinated, so the further below 70% we are, the more risky it becomes.
2) The state of the pandemic. Currently, we don't expect the curve to really start flattening until sometime in Feb. at the earliest. The new strains (UK, South Africa), will drive numbers up (but might be offset by vaccinations). It's possible that another strain arises between now and Oct. and scuttles any prior planning.
3) Immunity and Transmission. We don't know how long immunity lasts from either having had covid or having a vaccine. Reinfection is rare, and the immunity gained from having caught the disease is believed to be at least 5 months.
4) In-Person Protective Measures. The efficacy of requiring masks, social distancing, and providing sanitizing stations, etc
Where We Are Leaning Right Now
We are really just waiting for this additional data in May so we can see how the vaccination efforts are progressing and see if we get any more conclusive answers about transmission. We are thinking of setting a go/no go date in May, which would still leave time for planning. Probably starting around end of March/April to start looking at staffing for planning (virtually of course) and then see what the data says in May.
Just wanted to keep y'all updated! Stay safe!
2017-2021 Information Manager, Viv, is an Amazon potato who lives under a bridge, occasionally popping out to throw cabbages at edge lords.