This will be a quick update, since day 2 was much like day 1. Smaller crowds, cancelled panels, a few more people in the book fair, and as far as I can tell, everyone seems healthy. In fact, I’m hearing more news of COVID-19 from other places than from here. Some of us may be going home to greater risk than we have here, which is no to discount the risks of traveling.
Some friends are telling about the measures their universities are taking when they come back, such as formal self-monitoring. Still, everyone is calm and there doesn’t appear to be any greater risk than traveling anywhere else.
In the meantime, one of our grad students, Dani Putney, was invited to read with Juke Joint at the last minute. Some of us got the news in time to go hear them read, and of course, Dani represented well, despite having no time to prepare. That’s one advantage of being able to read from your phone (something I wouldn’t attempt anymore). It’s been a good AWP so far. As I’ve told a few people, it reminds me of the old days when the conference was smaller. It’s, sad that so many people and exhibitors aren’t here, but given the situation, everyone’s doing the best they can. We miss those who decided they couldn’t come. We understand and support that decision, too.
Looking forward to Day 3!