Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Tag: COVID-19

2020: A year of loss — Fundraising and fursuiting for charity in the midst of a global pandemic — by Joe G. Bear

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Joe Goria (Joe G. Bear) last wrote about the 2019 ALS Walk.

Furries have done annual fundraising for ALS patients and families in honor of Dogbomb, raising several hundred thousand so far.

Charity events canceled: “What A Difference A Year Makes…”

That statement couldn’t have been more truer than THIS year. I don’t believe any of us would have predicted that 2020 would plunge us into a global pandemic not seen in over 100 years, and that our way of life – our ‘normal’ would change so remarkably in a short period of time. To be honest, this year has brought me closer to my own mortality, so I’m grateful to be safe and healthy (so far…)

As the COVID-19 Pandemic hit the United States in early March, affecting all major in-person events from concerts, sporting events and for many of us in “The Fandom,” furmeets and furry conventions – the most devastating casualty of this pandemic have been to people’s jobs and their own livelihoods. We all know someone or an entire family who has suffered greatly these last few months, and it’s heartbreaking. We should also mention those who are employed in our healthcare system, especially furries who have worked under extremely difficult circumstances in hospitals across our nation. “Thank You” for your dedication and service.

Even with the promise of important vaccines being rolled out this month and well into 2021, the after-effects of 2020 will still be with us for some time – especially for one major aspect of our society that can never take a backseat. Charities and Non-Profit organizations like March of Dimes & The ALS Association have been hit particularly hard as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the cancellations of in-person donor drives and events like “The March for Babies” in Los Angeles and “The Walk to End ALS” in Orange County, CA.

Hardships inspire a personal commitment to help.

The “2019 Walk to End ALS” was Joe Bear’s first major charitable event. The success of Furries coming together to remember and support one of our own, Tony ‘Dogbomb’ Barrett was the light that brought a purpose to fursuiting beyond a weekend convention – an ‘enlightening’ that gave me determination to continue the cause. It would be supporting the amazing folks at The ALS Association, and the upcoming 20th Anniversary “Walk to End ALS” in November, 2020. Plans were being finalized for the event when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. in mid-March.

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The Fandom movie: Furry paws seize the media

by Patch O'Furr

Premiering JULY 3, 2020 at thefandomfilm.com.

When the media shows furries, do they get it right?

It’s a constant furry worry. In 2017 it was announced that CNN was making a show about them. Backlash rose about sensationalism, but few critics gave a fair shake to the producers of This Is Life with Lisa Ling. Then it came out and it was a flat-out advocacy piece on behalf of Furry“, said Joe Strike, a fan since the 1980’s who wrote a book that covers the subculture’s run-ins with bad media.

Joe Strike’s Furry Nation is the essential fandom history book.

Positive response didn’t satisfy every critic. Some asked why the 3 fans featured by CNN didn’t include more diverse people. But the show (with an asian-american woman journalist) got backlash while asking volunteers to raise their paws and be counted. That seems like damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

In answer to this, The Fandom is a documentary made by the fans. It features outstanding writers (like Joe), artists, animators, musicians, costume designers, event organizers and founders. It celebrates the roots with pro quality and appeal for outsiders who might not have given a fair look before.

For decades this subculture has thrived despite adversity. Bad media is one kind, but not the only kind. Some is internal. Some is homophobic. Some is happening right now with this screwy year. There’s even a villain to tell you about.

$10 million worth of trouble

Anthrocon is the 2nd largest furry convention, led by Uncle Kage (Dr. Sam Conway), the longstanding CEO and fandom public relations figure. It was due to bring $9.9 million to Pittsburgh’s economy in 2020. Now it’s among 70 furry cons canceled by COVID-19. The movie is launching anyways on the con’s dates, without opportunities that could have won distribution. (No film fests either.)

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With conventions closed for COVID-19, how will furries get their kink on?

by Patch O'Furr

Yesterday’s story: With conventions closed for COVID-19, what happens to furries as a community?

Ow My Balls!

The COVID-19 pandemic has postponed Sin City Murr Con. It’s planned to be the furry fandom’s first explicitly adult kink-themed convention.

SCMC also stands out as a con from Corgi Events, who organize GSFC, Aquatifur, DenFur, and PDFC. It’s furry fandom’s first multi-event managing company, with the idea of a paycheck letting the CEO do this full-time. Despite fear that paying someone is the tip of a Bad Dragon-sized capitalist intrusion, advancing a grab-bag of cons could be the foot in the door for the kink one.

This is a hit to fandom expression AND business. Several furries had a group chat about the postponing.

Lux, a furry artist in California, didn’t see such a big issue. She felt like SCMC might not have gone over well due to being “neither part of the kink scene or the local Las Vegas scene. Las Vegas seems like an all right place for a furry convention without the gimmick you know? And a furry track could be slotted into another kink event that happens in Las Vegas, rather than the other way around. Las Vegas hosts adult films expo and sex toy conventions if I’m not mistaken.”

I felt like explicit kink friendliness is a big deal, many furry people ARE kink scene people, and Las Vegas local furries haven’t made the effort for their own con. (They had Elliott’s Live Events, but that was more of a private party.) I saw a bigger issue.

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With conventions closed for COVID-19, what happens to furries as a community?

by Patch O'Furr

Depression of the furry economy.

Real life cons and meets are glue for internet fandom. Closing them will make a ripple effect.

Furry fandom has had decades of rising activity, and it’s between members without depending on corporations. Up to now, their cons bring tens of thousands of people with tens of millions of dollars spent per year around the world. That’s hard to just pause and restart.

It’s tourism/live show business that makes a foundation for other businesses. Take fursuit-making. It has millions a year in activity. Shutdowns and unemployment could make commissioners less eager for fursuits they can’t use in person or afford.

Some makers have long queues for promised work. That can mean holding a lot of deposits (even near an average household’s debt — thousands per suit x dozens of suits.) Imagine the queue stopping. That’s the ripple effect.

Could that kind of problem bankrupt cons? Or are they safe if they can cancel hotel contracts by force majeure? How hard will the hangover be if it takes a year or more to restart? (Reopening too soon can hurt too, without concerted solutions everywhere.)

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Conventions Cancelled By Corona Contagion — On March 20-22, Log On For KeepCalmCon

by Arrkay

Welcome to Arrkay from Culturally F’d. See their tag for more.

Furry con status updates via furrycons.com:

Cancelled: Furnal Equinox (Canada), Gateway Furmeet (Missouri), FurDu (Australia), Furry Weekend Atlanta (Georgia).

Postponed: Biggest Little Fur Con (Nevada), Otterdance (Netherlands), Golden State Fur Con (California), Fauntastic (France), Thaitails (Thailand).

BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY 

Conventions the world over are cancelling or postponing in every fandom. The COVID-19 (Corona virus) preparation has many in isolation the world over. Travel is becoming more restricted between countries, and preppers are bulk-buying all the toilet paper. These quarantines and lock downs being so wide spread, it’s actually kind of an impressive feat of social engineering that hasn’t caused this much panic since Y2K. The purpose of isolation is to take the place of herd immunity that doesn’t exist for a new virus. Yes, healthy young furs probably won’t get very sick if they catch it, but these proactive measures are to protect the more vulnerable, elderly, and immune-compromised. It’s drastic, but the virus would spread alarmingly fast if we continued attending concerts and conventions.

You can help these conventions by:

  1. Donating your registration to the organization
  2. Sharing the information, store fronts, and art streams of artists and dealers affected by closures and postponements
  3. Donate to the charity of the event
  4. Be patient with event organizers, venue and hotel staff, and workers who cannot take the time off to self-isolate.

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Good news! Doggos won’t make you vom-o — and more to know about a zoonotic pandemic.

by Patch O'Furr

Need something wholesome for a time like this?  Investigation found no reason to fear that people might catch COVID-19 from dogs. That’s good for me and my chihuahua child. No more worry about going “aww” for little sneezes!

Plague Bats and Furry Vets

It’s rare for a new disease to jump from one species to another — they’re usually incompatible. But COVID-19 came from zoonotic transmission with no herd immunity or treatment. It’s NOT the common flu. The CDC info page calls it an evolving situation. Brace yourself! Learn key terms that the experts use.

Zoonotic: A virus is considered zoonotic when its origins can be traced to animals. These diseases are known as zoonoses, meaning they are naturally transmissible from vertebrate animals to humans. It’s believed the virus that causes COVID-19 may have originated in bats and spread through a number of species before it was contracted by humans.

I reached out to veterinarian furries for professional comments or a message to the fandom. Zarafa Giraffe works as fill-in staff at many vet clinics. He says:

Obviously, the Covid19 pandemic, and the social distancing it requires, has been devastating to the conventions and furmeets we love so well. The good news is that as far as we know, your dogs and cats are safe, and cannot transfer infection to you. Veterinary clinics are considered essential services, and will continue to operate. Even here in the San Francisco Bay Area, which currently has the strictest social distancing requirements in the US, you’re allowed to go to your local veterinary clinic. If your dog or cat needs medical attention, contact your local veterinarian.

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