My Elephant Votes “No”

A few weeks back, Dawnise got us tickets for tonight’s taping of Comedians Giving Lectures. Despite enjoying the host (Sara Pascoe) and the format, and really wanting to take steps back toward normal, we’ve decided to sit this one out.

We got an email this morning with updated tickets; “please use this updated ticket rather than the previous version.” it said, along with a note that “there have been two changes to the ticket; the social distancing statement has changed and the PPE statement has changed.”

Well, then, guess it’s time to re-read the fine print.

In line with the dropping of legal restrictions on Monday, the producers and venue decided that “at this event, there will not be enforced social distancing.” and specifically noted that “each group will not be seated apart from each other group.”

We’re both vaccinated, so the risk to our health seems low. On the other hand, the news cycle has been dominated lately with articles about the so-called “pingdemic” (the British press loves naming things) – a surge of people being instructed to self-isolate by test-and-trace. With the daily case count averaging 48,000 new cases per day – about 80% of the peak level seen in January – the heretofore largely vestigial test-and-trace system has suddenly woken from its slumber to rain on the freedom parade.

I figure the chance that someone in a shoulder-to-shoulder, young-trending audience tests positive for covid in the next few days is approximately 100%.

So while we’re unlikely to get sick, and even less likely to get “seriously sick,” we figure there’s a pretty good chance we’ll get ping’d by test-and-trace and have to sequester ourselves in our flat for a week and a half.

The final nail in the coffin was learning that Dawnise couldn’t head over to get in the queue for the taping ahead of me, while I finished up a work meeting – their check-in protocol is to hand out numbered wristbands on arrival, and they were clear that people who didn’t arrive together wouldn’t sit together.

So we decided we’ll stay home, and watch the episode when it ultimately airs.

And while everything I’ve just written is true, and tells a pretty good story for why we’re (not) doing what we’re (not) doing – I think the reality is that my elephant leaned away, and I’m just explaining its behavior.

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