Some Mask-Optional Dances

Over the past few months covid levels have continued to drop, and are now very low:

Boston-area Wastewater Covid Measurement (MWRA)

We've been requiring masks, but many dances have stopped requiring them, including about half of New England contra dances.  We've had a lot of discussion about what might work well for BIDA, among the board and with dancers, and we're considering having half of our dances continue requiring masks while the other half are mask-optional.  We're thinking about this for the fall, and as a trial, we're running the July 2nd dance as mask-optional.  Masks will still be welcome, of course, and we'll still offer free KN95 and N95s at all our dances.

At the same time we're reworking our approach to vaccination.  Checking vaccination cards at the door requires an additional volunteer, is a hassle for attendees, and at this point the communities we draw from are overwhelmingly vaccinated.  While we still recommend staying up to date on vaccinations (including your flu shot and covid booster in the fall!), we're dropping this requirement starting with our July 2nd dance.

If you learn you may have been infectious at a dance, please let us know so we can send a notification out.  If you'd like to know when this happens, please join our covid notifications list.


  1. Hi! I understand the issue of not checking vaccination cards. I'm curious why you didn't go with saying that vaccines are required, but we're going on the honor system? Thanks!

    1. Speaking for myself and not the whole board:

      * Having a rule that isn't enforced can be corrosive: honest people who aren't vaccinated stay away, while dishonest ones get to dance.

      * Having a rule requires us to have an exception process, which seems pretty heaviweight

      * We didn't have consensus on extending the policy to require additional boosters, but the evidence on older shots still doing much to help others is weak.

      * There's some evidence that getting covid and getting vaccinated are similar in terms of how much they reduce your risk to others.

      * If we have a requirement we need to put it prominently in our publicity, but the more you put there the less people pay attention to any specific bit.


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