In good conscience, we could not move ahead with the conference starting just 10 days from now. The Delta variant has not made a big dent in Skagway, where we are 85% vaccinated and masking up, but it is here, and worse, it is everywhere on the way here and not getting any better. We felt up until a few days ago that we could pull off a safe conference. We still think we could, under the right conditions, but the risk is getting much, much higher. The worst thing for us would be to start and then have to stop due to a case among us or a local outbreak, and even if things were okay, we’d still be worried about Delta the whole time participants and faculty are here. It would not be a fun atmosphere, nor an ideal learning environment. It would not be North Words.
We also decided that going virtual at this time, even for just a couple days, would not be fruitful. Sorry, but we are zoomed out and just don’t have the enthusiasm to go virtual. We’d rather start working on making the return of North Words in 2022 a great one.
Next year’s dates are set: May 25-28. Participants are being asked to defer their registration to 2022 or receive a partial refund. Most so far are deferring, which is exciting, and we look forward to having a great conference with them and our faculty next May. In the meantime, please stay safe.