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Re: DebConf20 registration is now open (with caveats)


One thing I have not seen discussed is the issue of quarantine after the travel arrives, both coming and going.

In one country I have seen they test you on arrival, have you answer questions, test you for the virus, then take you to a hotel room with an ankle bracelet.  After twenty-four hours in the room you are told by phone if you tested positive for the virus or not.   If you did not test positive you are allowed to go somewhere else for a 14-day quarantine.   The country paid for the 24-hour quarantine, but it was unclear who paid for the 14 day isolation.

On the way back similar might happen, depending on your country.  If it is similar than the two week Deb* effectively turns into a six week Deb*.

We do not know what will happen, but I do believe that it is way more likely for the virus to "spike" in the next few months as it is to go away.....countries may change their immigration procedures.   Airlines may change their policies on delayed or changed flights (or perhaps go out of business).

A second point is that people going to Deb* may want to see something of the country.  I have been to Israel and Palestine several times, to Haifa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and other places.  It is a great place to go.  Perhaps Israel will allow people to travel around inside the country at this time, but again it is "iffy", and I almost guarantee it will not be as easy or fun as it would be if the virus was under control.

If the conference is moved to 2021...shifted...then perhaps there will be a vaccine or a treatment developed in the next year and most of this would go away.   Certainly we would know a lot more about it by this time in 2021.

My suggestion would be to decide at this time to shift the conference to 2021, and use all efforts to make a virtual conference this year the best it can be.  Because the conference this year would be virtual it does not necessarily have to be in August and you can take your time to make sure the mechanisms are set up to not only have a great virtual conference, but one that has ongoing impact.

You could also have micro-conferences with the virtual conference as a hub generating the materials for viewing.

Finally, for full disclosure I will mention that part of this is selfish.    I have a lot of friends in Israel (and even in Haifa) that I was looking forward to seeing for the first time in 15 years.  Since (due to the risk group that I am in) I would not be able to safely (of course there is always risk in doing anything, always) travel to Israel this year I would not see them.  Assuming either a vaccine or very effective and available testing it would be much less risky to travel in 2021.

In the end it is your conference.  I just wanted to share my thoughts.

Warmest regards,


P.S.  I wrote to the management of Campus Party Amazonia on February 17th warning them of the virus since they were planning a 4000 person, week-long conference starting March 27th.  On that day Brazil had its first confirmed case of the virus in Sao Paulo.
On March 2nd they wrote back and said they were "watching it".   That day the second case was confirmed in Rio de Janeiro.
On March 17th they canceled the conference.  There were 250 cases confirmed in Brazil.
On March 27th there were thousands of cases, at least one thousand in the city where the conference was to be held.
I like to think that I saved some lives with that email on February 17th.

On Fri, May 22, 2020 at 9:20 AM Jana Pirat <janapirat@gmx.de> wrote:

Am 22.05.20 um 14:02 schrieb Andreas Metzler:
> As I said I am lacking a broad worldwide view. But if you asked me
> whether there was any chance of having something like Debconf in
> Austria/Germany/Switzerland sometime in July or August, I would answer
> "No" with 99.9% confidence.

travelling inside Europe should be possible this summer, the boarders
are planed to be opened by 15 of June.
Of course the situation can change anytime.
In my opinion we should use all possibilities to live and be free as
much it is possible and given to us.
stay optimistic.
freedom not fear :-)

Best regards

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