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Coronavirus and Spring Conference

By NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern

Slush Pile Live!
Okay, who all washed their hands? © Stanley Dankoski

We intend to hold the 2020 Spring Conference as planned—as of right now.

We are keeping a close and careful eye on the latest developments, though, and recognize that we may very well have to cancel the conference in the interest of public health.

We recognize, too, that the situation—and our understanding of it—is evolving very rapidly. I am aware, as I write on Monday morning, that this statement could be obsolete by the time you read it.

Should we decide to cancel the Spring Conference, we will do so as early as seems responsible. We also will issue full refunds to all registrants and exhibitors.

In addition, we will waive our usual deadline and terms for refunds for any registrant who cancels due to ill health or particular vulnerability. In other words, if you or a loved one wakes up the morning of April 18 with the symptoms of a cold or flu, don’t come to the conference: We still will issue you a full refund.

We will rely on the honor of our members and registrants not to take advantage of this offer.

So if you have not yet registered for the Spring Conference because you’re afraid we will cancel or you will get sick, and you will lose your registration fees, go ahead and sign up. You’ll get your money back.

In the meantime, let’s all do what we can to lessen the severity of this outbreak:

  • Wash your hands. Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly, and for at least 20 seconds each time you do. Adult human beings shouldn’t have to be told this, but here we are.
  • A vital part of combatting the coronavirus is combatting misinformation. We are writers and care about language, so please make sure you are reading articles and alerts about COVID-19 with care and discernment, and only from reputable sources. We as writers should know better than to get our information from tweets and hearsay: The CDC provides excellent advice on preventing the spread of COVID-19, as well as a constantly updated summary of what we know now.
  • Part of what makes the coronavirus so frightening is that it’s new, and the medical community doesn’t know much about it. On the other hand, the medical community is learning more about it each day, so please make sure you’re updating your own knowledge of what the experts know now. What you read about COVID-19 a month, a week, or even a day ago—even if it came from a reputable, knowledgeable source—may have been disproven in the last half-hour. Have the courage to keep yourself updated and informed; much like the craft writing, you can’t ever assume you know all you need to know, and don’t need to learn more.

Pre-registration for the NCWN 2020 Spring Conference is open.