Whats the Risk of getting Sick at a Fest?
Disease has been a threat to any event that has ever been organized but apart from it being a hassle it can also get very confusing and complicated when strict unbreakable rules need to be placed.
Why bring up disease when talking about art/music events? Social gatherings are excellent contamination spots for diseases being able to hop from one organism to another, especially crowded events with hot temperature where random body sweat transfer is inevitable.
Random body sweat transfer also known as RBST where two sweaty people collide and both their fluids touch exchanging everything else that goes with it. This can frequently be seen at events like Lollapalooza or on the journey for another polish sausage at the Taste of Chicago. RBST is an understood factor that comes with the territory when fighting your way through the crowd so you can get a better view of the stage. Most people who avoid RBST will be dressed in clothing that covers every inch of their bodies with face masks and gloves, this can prove to be challenging in the middle of the summer and may not be convenient for every attendee which brings us to the question “How do we prevent the spread of disease in large crowded events?”
How can this be done? It’s virtually impossible to stop the spread of highly contagious disease once it is inside the perimeter especially one that has little to no information on how it is contagious, for example Ebola. Ebola is a fairly new disease that has rose in attention over the last couple of months; this disease is spreading rapidly and has recently entered the US due to faulty decisions made by the current administration on quarantine and travel bans. At first the sound of the words Quarantine, Travel Bans sound horrible and discriminatory especially in the arts culture where people can freely express and accept one another in open arms (like stated before this issue gets really complicated when having to place strict unbreakable rules), nobody wants to turn someone down because of illness but let us get real nobody wants to get sick and if you do well then you’re sick.
Does this mean we have to start adding physical screenings at security, simple steps like checking an attendee’s body temperature and making them say ”Ah”? No we trust in our Government to close off our borders to dangerous diseases that haven’t hit the homeland and we have even give them money to go fight the diseases in hopes they are cured. Promoters working in the private sector should not have to worry about the risk of losing business because of having to turn down customers at the door, plus this leads to further potential disasters like a national crisis, event cancellations, majorities of the people are infected and must be quarantined. Big social gatherings happen every day at the risk of mass infections through touching, breathing, sharing drinks, sharing cigarrettes, kissing, sex, bathrooms, food grounds, spray waters, sleeping in the same space, and exchanging money, all it takes is for that one drop to hit the body of water and the whole batch will be changed. The list of common diseases found in festivals is huge with each one having its own unique characteristics on how it works and evolves, yes they evolve their is sufficient scientific date that show many viruses evolving over time adapting to its environment and the obstacles that come with it. Taking all this into mind the answer to the questionable title is high, how high? Very high..
Extinction starts with prevention, not treatment, and as unfair as it sounds closing off with respect is necessary to stop the spread, for example STDs. In the beginning years of HIV/AIDS in the US people were very confused and panicked as to what it can do and how it could spread, it flourished rapidly in a sex culture of America till prevention was at top priority among the people. This did not happen with government funded research towards a cure because a cure still has not been found, it happened because private individuals took responsibility and stopped it before it even happened with abstinence or condoms as you would with a disease like that of its nature.
This is where the last step falls into play, you.
Stay home if you really think it’s that bad and especially if you know it’s that bad, stay home you can do a lot to help the world of Art be responsible, keep updated and spread the word.
More links from other sources about recent national issues and prevention.
ABC 7 News Chicago- 2 patients being monitored at Chicago http://abc7chicago.com/news/officials-2-patients-monitored-at-chicago-hospitals-for-ebola-like-symptoms/360410/
WLS Chicago- Obama talks about Ebola http://www.wlsam.com/common/more.php?m=58&ts=1414252202&article=62C4BDC85C2E11E4B51EFEFDADE6840A&mode=2
CDC (center for disease control)- on Food Safety at fairs and festivals http://www.cdc.gov/Features/fairsandfood/
CDC “Living with Plagues” by Setu K. Vora http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/10/5/03-1056_article