Covid, large meets, and Arizona

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Eagleperson

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Hello!
Has anyone attended any large meets this year? My daughter is registered for the Valley of the Sun meet in Arizona and we have another 48 hours to decide to attend or pull her out. We would be traveling from out of state by car (which means probably stopping for gas once and staying in a hotel). I am not really worried about the hotel but the meet itself. Arizona doesn't seem to be doing great with Covid cases (what state is, really) though March is a ways off.

Because we haven't had any meets this year and the few that will happen locally are much smaller than usual with lots of restrictions (masks, only one spectator per gymnast, very small sessions) I am not sure how to assess the risks for this meet.

We have been staying at home since March, both my work and daughter's school is online, and we have very much limited our activities (no restaurants, no indoor visiting with friends and family).

I am leaning toward cancelling for a lot of reasons but want to take all info into consideration.
Thanks!
 

Mrs. Puma

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I personally would not feel comfortable with a meet right now, but you’re right, March is a long way off. If it’s not a financial burden, you could sign her up and bail last minute if things are still not great? If that’s not a good option for you, I would err on the side of safety. Just my opinion! I’m a risk vs benefit girl. For my family, the benefit of Puma Jr being able to train right now is worth it to us with all the safety measures our gym is taking and other factors. A meet, especially a large out of state one, is not worth the risk to us.
 

bookworm

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That would be a "no" for me too....yes, March is a few months away but I'd be concerned with the behaviors of the the large amount of gymnasts and attendees (even 1 per gymnast doubles the crowd size of risk) because even if 1 or 2 were reckless before attending (no masks, large crowds, indoor crowded functions) or even if a person wasn't reckless and is + but unaware, a large indoor meet takes on a new title .... superspreader event.
 

gymgal

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Preface: My thought on this may differ from most and it may be b/c my family has been "out there" during the pandemic due to college/school, work, and medical so we are more desensitized than those who have been working from home and/or who have families members at higher risk.

If I was in this position, and I had the financial means, I would leave her as registered and if I was not feeling comfortable as the meet approaches, I would choose to not go. You will be out the registration but you should be able to cancel the hotel. In terms of the meet, I would want to know specifics - large venue (better ventilation and more space to spread out), requirements for masks on the meet floor and limited interactions between gyms (reducing spread across gyms and state lines), social distancing in the stands, etc. As long as the event is enforcing the 3Ws, and what I mentioned above is in place, I would view the risk as minimal. Having said that, every person needs to follow their own comfort level, especially in relation to their family needs (ex elderly grandparents or immune compromised member at home, front line health care worker, etc). Having said that, I certainly would be sure the event is not breaking any state mandates about crowd size and all.
 

InbarSquirrel

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Most of the large meets held in AZ are in venues where social distancing is completely achievable. If you do a basic google search and look at videos that others have posted from years past of the VOS meet - you can see the venue is spacious. Often the meets held at this venue (Rawhide Western Town) open up the large truck dock "garage doors" which brings in the fresh air - in march the weather is perfect in AZ. The awards are done outside too.
Hopefully, by March Arizona will have a better handle on Covid.
 
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beachgirl

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My family has been very careful as well, with gym being our family's main risk factor. My daughter's gym signed up for only out of state meets and the only one I opted for her to attend is in AZ in February. In looking at that meet I thought with the size of the convention center and the location of the hotel and ability to drive that I would be able to control the risk factors better that the other states selected. I paid the fee ( and bought a new million dollar leo) knowing that she or I might not feel comfortable going when the time arrived. I know if the might were right now, she definitely wouldn't be going.
 

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This is something only you can decide what is best for your family. The specific venue that Valley of the Sun is held at is VERY spacious. I am sure there will be covid restrictions in place as well. Good luck with your decision! Not an easy one for sure.
 
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Puff

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Making “me” decisions and “my family” decisions is what has gotten us into this mess. This is about all of us, our nation, our economy, our hospitals. Everyone should be participating in not being a pathway for the virus, but instead let’s get together, not wear masks, masks around the chin, travel and attend when we are being urged to avoid events and gatherings and avoid all unnecessary travel. For gyms that are actually up and running right now, in-house meets are the extent of what should be happening. Out-of-state gymnastics meets for thirteen-year-olds can wait.
 

Gigi

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In my opinion, a meet that limits spectators and sanitizes equipment in between is much less risk than going to the store with big crowds moving about (as opposed to be seated in one place for the most part), touching merchandise that others have touched, standing in line in close proximity, moving into the spot in line where germs from the person in front still linger.
 

lostinfog

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For a road trip meet in a large convention center hotel ballrooms venue I would feel most comfortable. In my state Fall season came and went from September through December. I’d say 50% athletes statewide compared to years prior at the State and South State meets. Our gym opted for an in house, rather than Fall season. We are planning to compete a Spring season for optionals.

What I have seen is 1 to 2 spectators per athlete, temp checks for all, personal responsibility as to your symptoms or known exposure to someone positive, sanitizing events between rotations, masks for spectators and athletes when not on equipment, awards outside or no awards ceremony live, fogging of the gym between sessions, sanitizer on the ready, athletes bring own chalk.

I chose to do doing in state only meets, partly because the out of state meet is practically a shut down state anyway. It’s not worth the risks of exposure with 4-5 hour flights, cost of that plus rental car and hotel, just to sit in the hotel and ordering grub hub or door dash. The venue is large and I’m sure following all the guidelines I reference above, but this is what we decided is best for our family. This doesn’t make us irresponsible or putting our welfare above others. We haven’t had anyone opt out of season or not come back to the gym due to Covid, but everyone’s personal risks and circumstances are different and would receive no judgements from me.
 
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cmg

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It is difficult to predict what the State of Arizona will be like in March. Right now health departments in Arizona are sending warning messages out to the community to warn that hospitals are full and that health care could become compromised for Covid patients or other emergency issues given lack of space. I looked at the meet website and the hosts at least have a Covid 19 information page which is more than a lot of gyms are doing. The venue is large and easily open to the outdoors. The Governor of Arizona is not likely to shut anything down since he has not ordered any shutdowns or mask mandates since the first round in March even though Arizona's numbers are much higher than the beginning of 2020. Local Mayors have implemented mask mandates, but I am not sure about where this facility is officially located and what the mandate is. I agree that if you can afford to forfeit the registration fee a wait and see approach gives you options. The issue is that most experts are predicting that January is going to be much worse than December. Unfortunately the expert predictions have been spot on which means Arizona is unlikely to improve much in the next month. I realize that March is 3 months away, but a safe assumption is that Arizona will continue to be a high risk state. I do live here and our gym has not signed up for any meets and I am just hoping that once our girls are ready they can do a virtual meet at some point. I don't see how the other large Arizona meets are going to happen especially the one at the Phoenix convention center unless you reduce how many gyms they set up. They usually have three sessions going on at once, maybe if they only had two that could work, but it is completely indoors. I am sure the convention center has very good air systems but I don't know if it meets covid standards for air exchange. Not sure if this information makes your decision any easier, good luck with what ever you decide.
 
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gymgal

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I think another big factor on whether large events like these meets will happen is how quickly the vaccines roll out (not being political). hospitalizations and deaths will show a significant decline once the nursing homes are fully immunized. And even steeper decline as seniors and those with cool morbidities are immunized.
 

ldw4mlo

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Making “me” decisions and “my family” decisions is what has gotten us into this mess. This is about all of us, our nation, our economy, our hospitals. Everyone should be participating in not being a pathway for the virus, but instead let’s get together, not wear masks, masks around the chin, travel and attend when we are being urged to avoid events and gatherings and avoid all unnecessary travel. For gyms that are actually up and running right now, in-house meets are the extent of what should be happening. Out-of-state gymnastics meets for thirteen-year-olds can wait.
Things can be done safely. Mitigation works.
 

Eagleperson

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That would be a "no" for me too....yes, March is a few months away but I'd be concerned with the behaviors of the the large amount of gymnasts and attendees (even 1 per gymnast doubles the crowd size of risk) because even if 1 or 2 were reckless before attending (no masks, large crowds, indoor crowded functions) or even if a person wasn't reckless and is + but unaware, a large indoor meet takes on a new title .... superspreader event.
Thank you!
 

ldw4mlo

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Darn timed out above.

That said. I have had to work through this whole thing. In the hospital. And in November I started a new job. So now I go to lots of hospitals in lots of states. By plane, rental cars, and hotels. Rest stops, restaurants as necessary. My experience is mitigation works. The data supports mitigation works. Over 70 percent of cases are due to in home gatherings. Masks, social distancing, cleaning your work space and hand sanitizing. Masks, wipes and hand sanitizer are the first things get packed for a trip.

I recognize and respect everyone has different risk factors and concerns.

We do not stay holed up at home. But we are not recklessly out and about either. Our social bubble is small, But we are social. We visit among our small social bubble of family and friends. We protect those at risk. We haven't seen my elderly in laws since colder weather arrived because we can't be outside. My kid has had sleep overs within her chorts. She goes to gym and school (when the governments deems it OK). There have been kids with exposures or positive cases who attend her gym and school. Yet no cases/exposures have been directly linked to having been at gym or school.

My daughter is not a L9/L10 kid expecting/hoping to do gym in college. She and we (her parents) are good with no meets this season, just practice. Of all the things she is missing, a gym meet is the least of it. She uptraining L9 skills without the pressure of routines. What she is really missing is, being in school. HS football games, homecoming, being able to hug her team mates at practice, doing school sports, playing her viola with her friend sharing a their music on a music stand at school.

However if she was truly missing going to meets. I would be OK with that, provided there was appropriate mitigation in place. Masks, social distancing, cohorting of teams and limited or even no spectators. Technology is a great thing. I'd take her and watch the video in the parking lot.
 

Eagleperson

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Most of the large meets held in AZ are in venues where social distancing is completely achievable. If you do a basic google search and look at videos that others have posted from years past of the VOS meet - you can see the venue is spacious. Often the meets held at this venue (Rawhide Western Town) open up the large truck dock "garage doors" which brings in the fresh air - in march the weather is perfect in AZ. The awards are done outside too.
Hopefully, by March Arizona will have a better handle on Covid.
This is helpful. I looked at pictures from past years and it looks like awards are sometimes outdoors.
 

Eagleperson

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This is something only you can decide what is best for your family. The specific venue that Valley of the Sun is held at is VERY spacious. I am sure there will be covid restrictions in place as well. Good luck with your decision! Not an easy one for sure.
Yes. I guess it is just helpful to see what others think, not to make the decision but to see how other people are making decisions in these uncertain times.
 
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Eagleperson

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Making “me” decisions and “my family” decisions is what has gotten us into this mess. This is about all of us, our nation, our economy, our hospitals. Everyone should be participating in not being a pathway for the virus, but instead let’s get together, not wear masks, masks around the chin, travel and attend when we are being urged to avoid events and gatherings and avoid all unnecessary travel. For gyms that are actually up and running right now, in-house meets are the extent of what should be happening. Out-of-state gymnastics meets for thirteen-year-olds can wait.
I agree. I am just interested in discussing and thinking about what the spring might hold. My family and I have been staying at home since March so this meet may be more of a dream than anything else.
 

Eagleperson

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It is difficult to predict what the State of Arizona will be like in March. Right now health departments in Arizona are sending warning messages out to the community to warn that hospitals are full and that health care could become compromised for Covid patients or other emergency issues given lack of space. I looked at the meet website and the hosts at least have a Covid 19 information page which is more than a lot of gyms are doing. The venue is large and easily open to the outdoors. The Governor of Arizona is not likely to shut anything down since he has not ordered any shutdowns or mask mandates since the first round in March even though Arizona's numbers are much higher than the beginning of 2020. Local Mayors have implemented mask mandates, but I am not sure about where this facility is officially located and what the mandate is. I agree that if you can afford to forfeit the registration fee a wait and see approach gives you options. The issue is that most experts are predicting that January is going to be much worse than December. Unfortunately the expert predictions have been spot on which means Arizona is unlikely to improve much in the next month. I realize that March is 3 months away, but a safe assumption is that Arizona will continue to be a high risk state. I do live here and our gym has not signed up for any meets and I am just hoping that once our girls are ready they can do a virtual meet at some point. I don't see how the other large Arizona meets are going to happen especially the one at the Phoenix convention center unless you reduce how many gyms they set up. They usually have three sessions going on at once, maybe if they only had two that could work, but it is completely indoors. I am sure the convention center has very good air systems but I don't know if it meets covid standards for air exchange. Not sure if this information makes your decision any easier, good luck with what ever you decide.
Thank you.
 
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