Aotearoa is in the incredibly lucky place of actually having a festival season. Thanks to us being a team of 5 million and flattening the curve, we can actually go and have fun this summer.
COVID’s still ruining the days of folks all over the world. England’s going into a third lockdown with no festivals since March last year, the US reported 567,195 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 just before Christmas, and most of Australia’s still at Level 3.
While we have a licence to frolic, the risk from COVID-19 is still real and we still run the risk of having another outbreak. It’s still a good idea to keep doing the things that got us to Level 1 so we can keep frolicking.
Hand sanitizer is your friend
You can’t wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds each time at a festival. Sorry Aunty Jacinda and Dr. Bloomfield.
Anyone who’s used a public bathroom knows it’s a gamble as to whether the soap dispenser has been filled recently. If you’re at a bush doof or self-reliance event, there’ll only be portaloos and what you can carry into the space with you.
Those travel-sized bottles of hand sanitiser are deep fried gold at festivals. They fit in your pocket and will last ages. They’re not as good as washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water, but they’ll reduce the risk of COVID-19. They will also reduce the chances of you catching things like e. coli and salmonella and stomach bugs like norovirus, coz no-one wants to spend their festival with vomiting and diarrhea.
The thing to keep in mind with this stuff is that it’ll dry your hands out if you use it often enough. This is bad because it creates little breaks in the skin where microbes can get into your bloodstream. It’s a good idea to use some hand lotion once a day to keep this from happening.
Sharing your snorting utensil is not caring
Basically you’re putting someone else’s viral droplets up your nose. That’s how you get COVID.
Besides being kinda gross (nobody likes a snotty straw), the membranes on the inside of the nostril are very thin. They absorb things very easily, and are super easy to break. If the person you’re sharing a straw, spoon, or key with is sick, whatever virus they have will be transferred directly to an easy entry point to your body.
Also, if you’re going to snort, try and avoid using a rolled up bank note. Money is a perfect disease vector because it passes through so many people’s hands. Illnesses like the common cold, influenza, salmonella, e coli and staph can all be caught from bank notes along with COVID.
If you can, use a paper straw that you can cut into pieces. That way everyone has their own utensil and you don’t get someone else’s potentially plague-ridden snot.
Cuddle puddle with your bubble
Social distancing at festivals is super hard. Dance floors are generally packed, there’s lines for everything, and the chill spaces are also full of humans. If you add something that makes you hypersocial like MDMA, the idea of social distancing kinda goes out the window as you turn into a cuddly starry-eyed pool of goo who is best friends with the whole world.
Bloody COVID ruins everything though. Cuddle puddles are great places for viruses to travel between people quickly. Have your friends as your festival bubble, and keep your snugs for them and them alone. It reduces the risk of you contracting COVID and passing it on to your friends.
We’re not completely COVID-free yet
Our COVID-19 curve might be flat, but it’s not over. Our last community-spread case was back in November, but new cases are still being reported at the border. We still need to be careful and we still need to take care of each other. We’re still a team of 5 million, after all.