The ongoing debate about allowing individual events to set masking requirements has been heated, and I think others have done a good job of laying out the argument, but one particular salvo in this dispute caught my eye and seemed worth of note:
The Society’s leadership says that it decided against allowing individual groups to set their own masking policies because “to do so would be cumbersome and problematic for people traveling outside their home groups.”
This does not seem convincing to me, as whenever I attending an event (local to me or at a great distance) I know that the first thing I need to do is closely read the event announcement for details including travel instructions, schedules, dining options, whether the site allows alcohol, and a dozen other details… so adding “does this event require masks while indoors” to the list of particulars doesn’t seem like a significant imposition.
The attached letter was sent from the Society’s Executive Assistant in response to a letter addressed to the Board asking for a policy variance to enable an event to require masking, and then posted to Facebook.
Thank you for taking the time to write in. I just wanted to assure you that your email has been received and actually read by the Board. Your words will be considered as they continue to both monitor and evaluate issues involving Covid and the Society.
With regard to the current corporate policy on Covid, it was developed due to the widely varying circumstances the SCA is currently encountering throughout the entire Known World. There is no way around the fact that different kingdoms have different needs. What is true for the East is totally foreign to Trimaris. The Board is responsible for balancing information for all the Known World in making its decisions. That is why it was determined at this juncture that it would be best for the Kingdoms to let the Board know what they needed in their areas.
That being said, the specific situation you are describing with the varying mask requirement by county is the result of a detailed request for a variance by your Kingdom. The Board did not design it. The Board trusted the kingdom when they said this was what they needed to accommodate the varying viewpoints of their populace.
As to leaving the decision on Covid protocols to individual groups, it was determined that to do so would be cumbersome and problematic for people traveling outside their home groups. Thus the decision was moved up to the Kingdom lever so there would be centralized oversight of some sort. If you believe that the current protocols for your area are inappropriate you have the right to request an appeal. Your Kingdom seneschal would be your first contact and can give you more information about that process.
Every person has to do what they believe is best for them. If you do not believe you can attend indoor events at this time, I would never presume to argue against that. Just believe you will be missed until that time when you feel comfortable in doing so once more.