UBS 2022: Checking the Community Pulse Results

COMMUNITY UnBroken spring participant poll
2/13/2022
Thank you to everyone who gave UBS 2022 organizers and community peers their perspectives on the event. The poll was open Jan 28-Feb. 13. For folks who did not get to express their opinions, please feel free to contact board@houstonburners.org.
 
Civic responsibility and inclusion. Radical self-expression and communal effort. Balancing burning man community principles while also trying to produce a safe, completely volunteer-run event is a HUGE challenge in the age of a global health pandemic.
 
The poll had 41 individual poll responders. 28 out of 41 (68%) would consider attending with the vaccine requirement. 10 people (24%) said they would not attend. 7% said ‘maybe’ they would attend. Of the people who said no, all said it was because of the vaccine requirement.
 
A number of people took time to voice significant written concerns or opinions:
  • Concerns about using VaxYes (any vaccine tracking system)
  • Others felt that vaccines are a medical experiment, and unfair to require.
  • Several people find it unfair and illogical to require vaccine but not a negative covid-19 test. 
  • Several other folks felt they would only be comfortable attending with the vaccine requirement.
  • Others felt that vaccinations ran counter to a desire to burn free from government and societal expectations.
  • Several other folks expressed continued frustration with repeated cancelled events, feeling burned out.
  • Several others remain worried about another cancellation.
  • Others noted “Let’s Rock’n Roll,” and “Ready to burn!”

It was not an easy decision to exclude people that are not vaccinated. The requirement was in place before Omicron and its developing subvariants, and is still in alignment with CDC guidance which continues to recommend vaccinations. The requirement was informed by direct feedback from critical volunteer leadership across UBS departments, and supported by the majority of people who completed this poll. COVID-19 vaccinations reduce the severity and longevity of symptoms, as well as the risk of hospitalization. 

In the weeks prior to the event, PCR testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms or known exposure.  Given the costs of organizing required testing at gate, organizers have avoided testing requirements but want to encourage self-testing day of gate for all participants (4 free testing kits per person- order 7-12 days in advance https://special.usps.com/testkits.)

 
 
Info about Medical Exemptions from COVID-19 Vaccine
After Recovering from COVID:  unless an individual has received monoclonal antibody infusion or convalescent plasma, or developed multi-inflammatory syndrome-adult (MIS-A) after recovery, the only CDC-required waiting period to get a COVID vaccine after recovery from COVID-19 infection is two weeks (CDC Should I get vaccinated if I’ve had COVID-19?)
 
Medical exemptions for a vaccine can be documented by your doctor, please email board@houstonburners.org with questions or concerns.
 
 
 
 

UBS 2022 projections are looking good!

Unbroken Spring 2022 is increasingly certain to happen, given the critical improvements in public health seen in Texas and in Houston in the last few weeks. Infection rates and hospitalization rates are all trending downward, in line with official public health predictions. Only one of the critical threshold areas is still negative, the Houston red threat level.  Read more about UBS Go|No Go Considerations.
 
Lunacy had to cancel just before the peak of the COVID-Delta wave in 2021 because of a shortage of critical volunteers, including in particular critical Lead volunteers who would not participate without a vaccine requirement. This need to ensure a population of critical volunteers directly led to the vaccine requirement policy for UBS 2022. Like Freezerburn and other events (e.g. Hypothermia), Houston Burners is using YesVax to upload vaccination records for participants pre-event. This will be part of pre-event registration this year, to streamline the process for participants and gate volunteers.
 
Preparation for an event in 2021 (Lunacy) and preparation for Unbroken spring 2022 have created new lasting momentum coming into this Spring. All UBS Safety leads positions and area facilitator positions have been filled, along with many critical shifts. Sign ups are live and ready for registration here.
 
Houston burners also does a lot more than UnBroken Spring. With Burning Man 2022 announcing ticket sales plans, many are preparing art pieces to bring to Playa, and attend regional events again. The Houston Burners 501(c)3 nonprofit is interested in reviving Speakeasy, if a venue can be found and/or camps who want to jointly fundraise. If there is enough interest in a community truck and leads to organize signups for one, the warehouse can be a staging area as in years past.  It’s nearly time to knock some dust on ourselves!