Surprise!: Trade Shows Are COVID Super-Spreader Events

June 13, 2022 by Dave Haynes

Three tests, three negatives so far, but I am not out of the woods yet with respect to getting or dodging COVID-19 after five days and nights in Las Vegas last week.

There are many, many reports of people who were at InfoComm last week getting home, doing tests, and getting the two little red bars indicating they picked IT up.

Mask usage on the trade show floor was minimal – I said maybe 5% but it was really more like 1%. But the more likely super-spreader events were out of the domain and control of show organizer AVIXA – the many, many cocktail parties and other social functions that went on last week. I heard similar stories about ISE last month in Barcelona.

I know from personal experience I was super-careful on the show floor – masked and whipping out my hand sanitizer over and over. But my guard was down at afternoon and evening functions. My intention was to dodge anything that wasn’t outside or in places with tall ceilings and great air handling, like the nicer casinos. But I slipped. It’s hard to sip a drink and chat with a mask on, and it’s especially hard to say no to seeing a bunch of friends because they’re in a room inside somewhere.

My first uh-oh was on Wednesday, hearing a guy I sat with at one party the day before was positive and isolating back at his hotel. That was an outside thing on a breezy patio, but of course as soon as I heard that, my throat seemed scratchy.

Fortunately, the social media posts suggest many or most people are experiencing mild symptoms – likely owing in part to how AVIXA required people to show proof of vaccination to get a badge. Generally, if you’ve been jabbed 2, 3 or 4 times, the experience and outcomes are better (and anti-vaxx/conspiracy folks, leave me out of your loopy debate).

If you tested positive and are under the weather, I hope it is nothing or just a crappy couple of days before you feel normal once again. I dunno all the science, but figure I have 3-4 more days of testing before I can do an all-clear and feel safe to be around my little grandson.

  1. Jim Carter says:

    It was great to meet you at Infocomm Dave. I have been hearing similar reports. One from my group has tested positive but luckily most of us (including me) have tested negative so far.

  2. Marian Sandberg says:

    I would advise a PCR test to anyone who has been relying on home tests. I’ve heard of many cases, including me, who tested negative twice with home tests before a positive PCR. My two cents. Stay safe, all!

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      Ugh. Sorry you picked “it” up. I somehow seemed to have dodged it (I was always masked in the LVCC but found I couldn’t gargle cocktail party drinks with a mask on). 6/6 negatives on daily rapid tests, so I THINK I am clear. One more tomorrow! Hope Omicron is just a crappy day or two, if that!

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