Tag Archives: contingency planning

Possibilities and Pondering for 2022

Its obvious how much time has passed since we have posted to you, oh website. Lockdown 2020 happened, and I told you what was happening. A short time later Stego had to make that call to OC Parks related to our annual event (which had to be canceled). Even then we had a feeling that what was happening then, was not going to go away anytime soon. Im sure many people noticed that there hasn’t been any new things to update you guys with (beyond us tweeting and retweeting some small things from our Twitter acct)

Once our calendar was taken down, I (Kat) tried to think about what we might do in the meantime. We knew some of our community had gone deeper into social media, and taking things online (using services like Twitter and Discord to notify people of a live stream, online art jams, and the like). Virtual events are definitely an option, which brought thoughts back to a “locals directory”, an idea I had before and had since shelved. However, it seemed that, when I entertained the idea to others (Local community, mid 2020), I just got a lot of silence back. With everyone’s social bandwidth so low, and the massive effect on others’ mental health, I definitely did not want to push further.

So, I just kept watch on some things within the furry community. I took mental notes as we began to learn more and more about the virus and its transmission. While we stood fast against the compulsion to let fear run our lives, there was no time I felt comfortable bringing the calendar back. As it was, I had seen some dangers in one or two of the local organizers, who seemed to still want to run events, when there was still no vaccine available (and one of those two events was being held indoors with no change to capacity limits). We noted this (and who these people were), but were pleased to see that a decent chunk of SoCal fandom locals were being careful.

I would think back on things and wonder “What can we do with our site that makes sense in the now? Is now an okay time to try and posting events again?” Honestly, I still would like some input from people on this, especially as I watch how things work in the aftermath of a convention weekend and people posting their COVID test results. With the pandemic, things can change and I want to do things with as much room to change with any new factors related to mitigating transmission. I have been writing down some ideas on how we can tailor our events calendar and provide some degree of safety considerations for people to think about as they get back out there. Would anyone be interested in helping out with our website with what we could plan?

Composition showing a poll started by SoCal Furs in March of 2022. The results are shown at the bottom.

I’m still going through some of the technical aspects to our site. SoCalFurs.com currently uses WordPress, and will be using the Modern Events Calendar plugin for posting events. I have been playing with labeling and tagging functions over on my test server (see this progress thread). .There is potential to (still) do something with this website, and I know it. If you share this sentiment (maybe you were one of the people who answered our poll), please reach out via our contact page. My overall schedule and work-fun balance is not as consistent as it once was but, Im usually around and hang out in the SoCal Furs’ Telegram chat. Id love to (finally) bring more people into the circle and make a good effort on this.

SoCal Distancing and Remaining Constructive

Its winter, and with that comes the cold and flu season. This can lead to lower volume of attendance at some of the events we feature here on our calendar.

However, towards late January, the nation has had a new kind of virus in our midst — COVID19. As February turned to March, we began hearing of a number of different events starting to cancel or postpone. Even the furry community has been reacting to these concerns, and by this week, event cancellations have been coming in from fur meet organizers. Sad to say, but social distancing is one of the ways to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

Stego and I had been silently making plans for FurBQ, and we did manage to make a reservation sometime in late fall. While this usually leads to a subsequent update here on this blog … we are gonna hang tight with those announcements. It is possible that more events may also cancel, and we will continue to update this website, our Meetup calendar, and of course blip it out to our social media channels.

Already, some of the events that are affected by these health concerns seem slated to postpone until October. This could mean more furry (and related) events going on in our state around the time proceeding our scheduled reservation. We are looking at July 1st as a date to make the final call on whether FurBQ can happen this year.

All of the cancellations of big events, fan conventions and parties does affect many event staff and vendors, who may lose money or employment because of these closures. For anyone on social media, you may have seen hashtags like #ECCOnline and #homecon, and entire threads dedicated to allow affected artists to plug their store or online commission forms.

This plays into an idea that I have been rolling around in my head, just related to helping promote furry artists and fursuit makers from Southern California. In short, the idea would be to provide a listing of local artists, with links to their respective shops, art sites, and other places where you can view artwork and get in touch with them. However, I feel like this is something Id like to build up with other website designers and WordPress peeps. Id like to have more of SoCalFurs.com’s improvements shaped by people outside of myself, getting more of a mix for influence. With me starting my new 40 hour a week job, I definitely could use the help.

So, if you are down with this idea please get in touch. If need be, maybe we can set up an online space for round table discussions, and get this idea off the ground ….. alongside fixing this website’s outdated theme 😉 For all the issues that I have observed and experienced**, I continually see the kind of community fostered here in Southern California. (Some of us) may be socially distancing ourselves while we deal with some Real Life Serious Stuff, but I know our community will be here and come back stronger than ever.

** I admit, my relation to community (in general, as a concept…not just furry) has been a bit strained this last year or so due to some needed Self-Care and improvement. On a personal level, I have had to get past some trust issues caused by things observed in my community, my experience as convention staff, and a bit from from being burned by previous SoCal Furs staff (and staff-adjacent) people.