As many of you will know, I run two regular events in Manchester called Currybeer and Geek Walks. Since mid-March both have been running as regular video chats via Jitsi instead of in-person. I’ve been asked when the events will return to normal, but unfortunately they are both risky to run in a pandemic because of the following factors:
- Mixing of people from lots of different households.
- Many regular attendees are at higher risk or live with someone who is.
- Prolonged close contact – well over the 15 minute ‘limit’.
- Use of public transport.
- Lots of talking, sometimes very loud!
Since the UK government has no idea what to do and changes their mind every week, I am making my own very conservative risk assessment, which is that there will be no Currybeer or Geek Walks in-person until we have an effective and widely available vaccine. Whilst I’m optimistic that we will get one soon—some of the smartest scientists in the world are working on the problem, and 11 vaccines are in the final stages of clinical trials—I think it will probably be at least March 2021 until we have widespread vaccination in the UK.
In the meantime, please do join us for our video chats, which are the first and third Friday of the month for Currybeer and the Saturday in between (usually the second Saturday) for Geek Walks. You can get an email reminder by subscribing to the mailing lists.