[Coral-List] Request for the Reef Futures 2022 Conference
sfrias_torres at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 21 17:44:28 UTC 2022
Posting this request here due to a lack of response from the conference organizing committee.
I formally request to turn the in-person Reef Futures Conference (September 2022, Florida) into a virtual event only.
COVID omicron BA.5 is now dominant in the USA and in Florida, with R0 = 18.5.
For comparison, measles (Rubeola virus), the most contagious disease known to date has R0 = 18, meaning one infected person can infect 18 people.
Holding an in-person international scientific conference in Florida, in September, has the potential of becoming a super-spreader event, bringing pain, suffering, potential long-term disability, and even death to participants and their families, and all other people they make contact with.
The conference site says they will follow CDC guidance, which basically means, no enforcement of any safety plan.
A safe in-person conference should enforce mandatory vaccination, daily testing, masking, and air quality (ventilation, filtering, sterilization). However, with a variant so contagious, the safety protocol for in-person attendance should follow isolation hospital protocols, which is not a feasible way to conduct a scientific conference.
Further, the lack of mask enforcement in most airlines and airports means that conference participants have a high probability of getting infected while in transit, and arriving at the conference venue already infected and actively spreading the virus.
If the Coral Restoration Consortium is concerned about the safety of conference attendees, then the 2022 conference should be virtual.
Sarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D.
Science Blog: https://grouperluna.com/
Art Blog: https://oceanbestiary.com/
More information about the Coral-List