Throughout the pandemic, members and non-members alike have asked us when we will resume our in-person meetings. Here’s an update on that.
At the time of writing this, San Diego County is performing the worst of all counties in California reporting to the CDC when it comes to vaccinations WITH booster shots in the 18+ age group: only 32.6% of this part of the population (our audience and membership) have received full vaccination AND a booster shot (source).
While I know that our membership is smarter than this and has opted to get a booster shot (sidenote: the 50+ age group is now eligible for another booster shot if the previous booster was more than 4 months ago), it is important to remember that both the “full vaccination” AND the booster shot were aimed at the original coronavirus and NOT the Delta or Omicron variants. Breakthrough infections with Delta and especially Omicron have been far more common — the booster helps to prevent serious illness.
The most important thing to me is the safety of our entire membership. Even though the overall COVID-19 community level in San Diego County is low at present, I can’t stand the thought that even one of our members would get ill, no matter how serious, as a direct result of our club’s activities. The risk for that to happen is elevated when we would have in-person gatherings where 50 or more people congregate and intermingle for two hours, indoors. This is simply not a smart thing to do*.
We understand the desire to meet, chat, connect and make photos together, and we do have our outdoor activities which allow our members to do just that. We will resume in-person meetings when it is safe/safer to do so and will re-evaluate the situation in June 2022. Until then, our monthly meetings with photographic presentations, membershare and giveaways for members will be held via Zoom.
On the flip side, virtual meetings have enabled us to invite a much broader selection of speakers than it would have been possible from San Diego’s talented, local pool of photographers alone. In the future, we will most likely have a mixture of in-person and Zoom meetings to cover more photographic topics and be able to invite interesting speakers.
Last not least, virtual meetings also eliminate the carbon dioxide emissions and contributing to traffic on our streets, since attendees do not have to drive their cars to our meeting location and can instead join from the comfort of their homes. Every little bit counts.
Thanks & good light, always
Alexander S. Kunz
Chair, Sierra Club Photo Section
Featured Image credit: T. M. Schultze