Three Guests Cancel MidSouthCon Appearances

The MidSouthCon committee announced today that guests of honor David Mack and Amanda Makepeace, and toastmaster Maggie Thompson, will not be attending the convention. Mack says his decision is due to the convention’s state-imposed Covid policy. Makepeace and Thompson have not specifically commented in social media about their reasons.

MidSouthCon will take place in Memphis, Tennessee from March 25-27. Their Covid-19 Policy requires masks, however, Tennessee state law prohibits them from requiring proof of vaccination or negative covid tests.

Our attendee’s health and safety is our priority. With that, we are following the guidance of our venue and our local, state, and federal authorities. 

1. Masks – per our venue, masks are required for all visitors/guests in all public space, which is any non-guest-room space. All convention attendees will be expected to adhere to this requirement.

2. Vaccinations – per a recent state law passed by our Tennessee legislature, government entities and private businesses in Tennessee are prohibited from requiring proof of vaccination or negative covid tests to employees, patrons, and visitors…

David Mack explained why he withdrew as a GoH on his blog: “I’ve canceled my appearance at MidSouthCon”:

It is with deep regret that I have canceled my appearance as the Author Guest of Honor for this year’s MidSouthCon, because of the impossibility of verifying the vaccination/negative test status of attendees, staff, guests, and volunteers as a condition of attendance.

This would have been my very first time as an Author Guest of Honor at any con, and this invitation meant a great deal to me. However, protecting my health and that of my family against unnecessary risks during a pandemic, especially in the face of an extremely contagious COVID variant such as omicron, must take a higher priority.

I will be reimbursing MidSouthCon for any and all out-of-pocket costs they have incurred on my behalf.

At the time MidSouthCon and I made our plans, we had no idea the pandemic was coming. We certainly could not have known in 2019 that the Tennessee state government would pass a law that actually makes it harder to keep people safe from infection.

That fact is the key difference between this cancellation and the one I announced last week regarding my planned appearance at Farpoint Convention. The state of Maryland has no law at this time that prevents events and venues from requiring proof of vaccination as a condition of entry and/or service. The state of Tennessee, unfortunately, does. Whereas Farpoint could have chosen to apply a stronger standard for the protection of its guests, et al., but chose not to, the concom of MidSouthCon had no such option….

Artist Amanda Makepeace said in a tweet today, “I stressed myself out this weekend over a decision I needed to make. But once I accepted what was in my heart all that worry went away. Staying true to yourself is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.” The timing suggests a connection without limiting other possibilities.

Having had to pull out of two conventions, David Mack took a look ahead to address whether Covid policies would affect his participation in any other. His only upcoming convention appearance is Shore Leave, happening in Hunt Valley, Maryland from July 15–17. Shore Leave has a posted COVID-19 policy that will require proof of vaccination as a condition of entry/service to the convention’s designated areas and functions. Mack says, “As long as that policy remains in effect, I will look forward to attending Shore Leave this summer.”

He also has added a statement to his website’s Contact page that he “will not participate in person at any event held in a state…that legally bars venues and events from requesting proof of vaccination as a condition of entry and service.” Ballotopedia shows that currently includes the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

11 thoughts on “Three Guests Cancel MidSouthCon Appearances

  1. “that currently includes the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming”

    My thanks for the list of states which decline to enforce medical apartheid over vaccines which do not prevent infection or virus spread.

  2. Also, seatbelts don’t prevent all car-accident deaths even when worn properly, so their use shouldn’t be mandated.

    (and I think that’s enough on this topic.)

  3. HowardB says My thanks for the list of states which decline to enforce medical apartheid over vaccines which do not prevent infection or virus spread.

    Wow. And I’ve trained a group of pigs to sing Gilbert and Sullivan in perfect Klingonese. May I note that you are an idiot. A dangerous one if you’re unvaccinated.

  4. @HowardB

    over vaccines which do not prevent infection or virus spread.

    They do, however, reduce the severity of infection and prevent you from having to go to the hospital if you do contract the virus.

    But you already know that, and therefore, like Cat said, you are an uncaring, selfish jackass.

  5. I would like to note that my Primary Care Provider of the last decade lost both her kidneys when she was eight months pregnant with her second child five years ago. She was put on dialysis, the child was born healthy and she got a kidney nine months later. Of course she’s now on immune suppressant meds the rest of her life.

    So for the next month, she’s home doing Zoom only Primary Care visits with her patients including me in hopes that omicron will be over by then. This was because she had an idiot patient along the lines of HowardB who she saw three weeks ago who announced that she thought had Covid (it turned out she didn’t) but The Practice Manager decided she should stay at home for now.

    (She exited the room quickly.)

    Yes she is vaccinated and boosted with the Moderna vaccine.

    So our monthly in-person meeting is now a Zoom conversation in addition to our monthly Zoom conversation. Oh well.

  6. My thanks for the list of states which decline to enforce medical apartheid over vaccines which do not prevent infection or virus spread.

    By that “logic”, no vaccines anywhere have ever worked. All vaccines have a rate of failure.

  7. Aaron Pound says By that “logic”, no vaccines anywhere have ever worked. All vaccines have a rate of failure.

    Rate of failure isn’t really the proper term. Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine provided you have taken both primary shots and the booster are roughly ninety six percent effective at preventing you from getting a severe infection.

    So I wouldn’t say either vaccine has a rate of failure at all as both of the most used vaccines effectively protect the individual under most conditions from the worst effect of the virus.

    Now if if you’re stupid enough to think like HowardB and think that being unvaccinated is just as good, well dying really isn’t a great idea, is it?

  8. @HowardB – your logic is inconsistent/non-existent. The state denying private entities the right to enact safety measures they deem necessary is not apartheid and saying so is offensively stupid. There is a debate to be had about state-sanctioned vaccine mandates, but this is just plain silly. You seem to be arguing for a nanny state that ensures people are allowed to be as irresponsible as they want.

  9. By HowardB’s logic, it’s automotive apartheid when the states paint a line down the middle of the road and makes people drive on separate sides, merely because of the direction they are going.

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