March 12th, 2020

Tonopah Westercon

Scratch One Trip

I'm sure everyone has heard that events are being canceled left and right. As a consequence of all of these pandemic-related cancellations, I've decided to call off the three-week trip to the Bay Area and then on up to the Pacific Northwest, where Lisa was going to drive to meet me and where we would attend Norwescon to promote Westercon 74. Even if Norwescon itself is not canceled as a result of the recent declaration from Washington's governor banning gatherings of more than 250 people, other elements of the trip were starting to come unraveled, even ignoring the actual risk of travel with a growing pandemic. So today I spent a while canceling hotel reservations and planned appointments I had in the Bay Area. Pretty much everything could be canceled without penalty, but my airfare up to Seattle isn't one of them, at least not yet. Alaska Airlines is waiving cancellation charges, but only for trips through the end of March. As I expect things will not be improved much by then, I hope that Alaska will extend that offer. Otherwise, the cancellation fees pretty much eat up the airfare, which would be a pity, but isn't a catastrophe. If I can 'bank' the fare for a future trip, I would consider using it to go to OryCon, which we do hope to attend this November.

I'm relatively lucky in that I wasn't in transit and could make this call two weeks before the start of the trip. CostumeCon 38 in Montreal, which was scheduled for this weekend, was abruptly obliged to cancel when Quebec's premier issued an order similar to Washington's. People I know were actually in transit to Montreal this morning when the order came down. I guess they'll be in Montreal without a convention. (Actually, some pieces of CC38 that were unstoppable are still rolling, but the convention itself is officially canceled.)

Consonance, the Bay Area filk convention, is also postponed to a future date to be determined. Conventions are being canceled or postponed left and right. I certainly hope that these steps to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus work and that things can get back to some semblance of normality sooner, not later. We currently have trips to BayCon and Westercon in the pipeline, plus of course the Worldcon in July.

And speaking of the Worldcon trip, is it wrong of me to wish that I'd put off booking our air travel to New Zealand until now, with airfares plummeting?