US’s Second Omicron Case Possibly Linked to Anime NYC

Anime NYC 2021 preview

The second confirmed case of the Omicron variant has been linked to a resident in Minnesota who had recently attended Anime NYC.

Anime NYC took place November 19th-21st at the Javits Center in New York City. The individual apparently began to feel mild symptoms on November 22nd and was then subsequently tested on November 24th. The symptoms have since resolved, per most reports. Everyone who attended the convention is encouraged to get tested. The Omicron variant itself was detected on November 24th and labeled a “Variant of Concern” two days later on the 26th. At the time of this writing, there are 413 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant globally.

Before you ask, yes, we attended this convention. We’re in touch with our reporter who was in attendance and advising her to take the appropriate next steps, following the guidance set forth by local health authorities. Our attendee was vaccinated, masked, and has been feeling fine since the convention. For over a year we banned all official convention attendance by Geekiary staff, and now we require all of our press members to take appropriate safety precautions, such as vaccination and wearing masks indoors and in crowds, when representing the Geekiary at conventions. That said, we know that these precautions aren’t a guarantee that we won’t be impacted and we’re taking this potential exposure seriously.

At this time, not much is known about the impacts of the Omicron variant, but more information is expected from WHO as data is collected about the variant. There’s a lot of speculation about it, but I’m hesitant to make any bold claims at this point until some actual scientists who know what they’re talking about have some time to analyze the data. The WHO website is a good place for updates, though I’m sure any major developments will be reported across all major media outlets fairly quickly.

It’s definitely a bit of a surreal situation hearing Press Secretary Jen Psaki say the words “anime convention” from the White House. The resulting social media frenzy about the whole affair has also been a super weird thing to wake up to today. The jokes are flying and the jabs at anime fans are numerous. But we’ve all got a bit of apocalypse fatigue, and if something feels even a little bit humorous about our apocalyptic situation, people are going to run with it. Honestly, I get it. I’m kind of at that place in this whole pandemic situation myself. If we’re going to be stuck in this hellish scenario, might as well revel in the dark humor as a coping mechanism.

All humor aside, if you attended this con, get tested. If you’re not vaccinated, please get vaccinated. Practice good mask protocols and wash your hands. This happened at a place with good protocols already, so we need to be extra cautious and keep the community as safe and healthy as we possibly can.

Author: Angel Wilson

Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.

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