Outdoor dancing is likely very safe
post by jefftk (jkaufman)
After the spontaneous contra dance at
Porchfest, I'm helping organize
another one. I wanted to
get a better sense of how much covid risk an attendee would be taking,
so I ran some numbers on
microcovid. If everyone is
masked and vaccinated, I count ~2.2 microcovids:
from your partner. While your partner is not the only person your
head gets close to, you're this close to at most one person at a time,
so for simplicity assume its your current partner.
from your neighbors and next/previous neighbors.
from your next/previous hands fours.
from the hands fours one farther away.
If you have multiple lines close together, you could ~double these
numbers. Other social dances are likely ~half as risky.
This is a very low level of risk: about 1% of a cautious risk budget
of 200 microcovids/week (1% risk of covid/year).
I wish I'd run these numbers sooner: this is probably our last chance
for an outdoor dance in Boston before spring.
An outdoor dance in October 2013
We may end up dancing indoors this winter. Over the next few
months I think our communities are likely to move away from treating
covid as something where we have a duty to make substantial sacrifices
to limit spread. Once everyone is vaccinated who wants to be,
including boosters and approving the vaccine for kids, I think
people will view the tradeoffs very differently.
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comment by Sameerishere ·
2021-10-11T16:16:03.549Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
How heavily do you think people breathe while doing the sorts of dancing you describe, and does that impact whether it's appropriate to model the scenario as "silent"?
Replies from: jkaufman, BossSleepy
↑ comment by jefftk (jkaufman) ·
2021-10-11T19:01:48.750Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
It's not much more vigorous than walking? Like, I wouldn't need to be opening my mouth to get in additional air.
Even if you treat it as "talking", though, it's still only ~10 microcovid.
↑ comment by Randomized, Controlled (BossSleepy) ·
2021-10-11T20:20:36.811Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I always model as "loud talking" when doing assessments for contact improv -- back in the before times, that would be accurate, but I've found that everyone is pretty tentative right now, and "vigorous walking" is probably closer to the baseline.
Replies from: Sameerishere
↑ comment by Sameerishere ·
2021-10-11T21:38:48.194Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Thanks folks. Asking for my own benefit as someone who dances fusion and has been attending some (small, masked, vaccinated) indoor events lately. I think microfusion is probably somewhere between silent and normal and regular fusion is probably between normal and loud. (Trying to balance heavier/more frequent breathing with the fact that people are literally speaking, not talking.)
comment by Randomized, Controlled (BossSleepy) ·
2021-10-11T02:55:10.449Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I did a similar analysis for outdoor Contact Improv here in Toronto over the summer. We had low covid rates over the summer and it came out remarkably low-risk; because the jam is run and organized by Reason d'etre, a local dance company, Kathleen, the organizer, ended up putting a huge amount of time, effort and money into covid protocols; sanitizers; interesting props that people could use to do distanced CI and screening, at least in part to stay on the happy side of the provincial regs.
Indoor jams are tentatively restarting; I'm still not sure quite what my policy w/r/t those should be; there's a double-vax requirement + rapid testing prior to start, if cases numbers are > 300/day. One way I've tried modelling this is 10 people near-by for 10 minutes (collapsing a set of serial dances into a concurrent process); indoors, masked, this evals to about 28 microcovids, here.. I'm inclined to attend, although I don't think my GF is super comfortable with it yet.
Another, non-dance related thing that I wish I'd modeled months earlier is going to the dentist! Felt super transgressive, but surprisingly safe, given it's really only one person near you. I was also really pleasantly surprised by the office's setup: they'd put up plastic sheeting to partition the workrooms from each other, and had set up large air purifiers in each work room. Clear evidence of an actual transmission model on display.