2021 Mic-O-Say Pow-Wow COVID-19 Precautions
July 18, 2021
Dear Tribesman of Mic-O-Say:
The Tribe of Mic-O-Say will resume holding its summer Pow-Wow after a one year absence due to the COVID pandemic in 2020. We have learned a great deal about self protection in the last year, and the availability of the vaccine shifts odds in out favor but only for those who have elected to receive it. Unfortunately, this pandemic is not over, and with the emergence of the Delta variant, cases are very much on the rise. With only a 24% vaccination rate in Missouri, pathetic by any measure, your risk of contracting COVID-19 is substantially higher than in other parts of the country.
As you know, we had a very strict mitigation protocol in effect for all the sessions of Camp Geiger this summer. It consisted of self screening the day you came to camp prior to leaving home, followed by a second screening upon arrival at camp, and a daily screening each morning in your campsite. All adult leaders with comorbidities were required to have proof of vaccine. Further, the camp was completely sequestered from the "outside world" during the week you were camping, and there were no visits by the public. We had a successful summer, but even with all these measures in place, we still had cases of COVID-19 at Geiger in the last half of the camping season.
It is impossible to conduct a similarly restrictive program for an event such as the 1 1/2 day Pow-Wow. So different guidelines must apply.
Here are our expectations:
- Every Tribesman is to conduct a self screening before coming to the Pow-Wow. it is expected that any non-vaccinated Tribesman who has any COVID symptoms at all will not come to the Pow-Wow, disappointing as that may be to him or her.
- Every member of the Tribe of Mic-O-Say is of an age in which he or she is qualified to receive the COVID vaccine. The Council strongly suggests that if you are not vaccinated, you initiate that process now, for your protection and also for the protection of those more vulnerable than you to whom you may transmit the virus.
- The assumption is that all adult Tribesman attending the Pow-Wow likely came to camp this summer and if so, those with any of the comorbidities were vaccinated. In the event an adult Tribesman did not attend summer camp and has comorbidities, it is a council requirement that such individuals will be vaccinated before coming to the Pow-Wow. This is a duty to be accepted on one's Scout's Honor, and without exception.
- If you are an unvaccinated Tribesman, the Pony Express Council would like you to initiate the vaccine process prior to attending the Pow-Wow.
- If you are unvaccinated and you attend the Pow-Wow anyway, you do so with the understanding that you have NO PROTECTION WHATSOEVER from the coronavirus.
- In Missouri, the data shows that the new Delta variant is the dominant strain of COVID-19. This variant is ten times more transmissible than the "original" Coronavirus that you may have successfully avoided during the past year. Putting it another way, you are TEN TIMES MORE LIKELY TO CONTRACT COVID-19 THAN YOU HAVE BEEN IN THE PAST, if you are unvaccinated.
- If you are coming to the Pow-Wow on Friday and staying overnight, your tent arrangement must be such that if you are unvaccinated, you must tent "SOLO" unless your tent-mate(s) are vaccinated. Plan accordingly and bring adequate tentage to meet this requirement.
- If you are unvaccinated, you should strongly consider wearing a mask during the event.
- There is an expectation that all Tribesman will adhere to these guidelines. As such, no wrist bands will be distributed for the Pow-Wow event.
Due to large numbers arriving in a short period of time, there will be no checking for vaccine documentation as there was during regular camp. Tribesman are expected to exercise good judgement and not unnecessarily put their brother Scouts at risk.
The first advantage we have in our favor is that most, though not all, Pow-Wow activities take place outside. Being outdoors with adequate spacing reduces the rate of transmission, but does not eliminate it. The second advantage we have is that the event is fairly short in duration.
There continue to be the expectation that Scouts and Leaders will follow usual COVID precautions, maintain reasonable distances, and use hand sanitizers in all the areas where it is provided.
Timothy P. Murphy, M.D. Chieftain Northern Cross Council Supervising Physician