Head Table during Covid

posted 8 months ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
5045 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2016

View original reply
@amongclouds:  I totally missed that OP is in Australia. I assumed US like me, where large covid weddings are happening even as our cases increase drastically. Seeing a lot of people on social media attending these events without masks and it’s driving me nuts! 

OP, if the issue is just about the head table, while I personally don’t like them and find them rude to significant others (and really not fun for the people at the head table – at least when I’ve sat at them!) I’m not sure I would say anything about it unless I was a very close friend of the bride and she asked if I thought it was a good idea. 

Post # 18
4902 posts
Honey bee

I still dont see what being in Australia has to do with anything.  Today there were only 6 new cases.  But if those 6 people interact with someone then tomorrow could be different.  A negative COVID test and low numbers doesnt mean it’s safe to hang out.  The government not stopping you from doing things doesn’t mean Jack shit.  It just means that today there is an ICU bed available if you need it and sit your ass at home some more and dont intermix households if you want to keep it that way tomorrow.  Nearly everywhere that’s surging today for a second time had low numbers earlier, too, and lifted restrictions.  But numbers only stay low when you act like they aren’t and dont consider it a free pass.  So honestly I’m kind of horrified there is a head table at all unless everyone at that table is from the same household.

Of course, this also just highlights why I find head tables and separating partners rude even without a global pandemic.

Post # 19
924 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I think you should stay at the head table. You are with your husband every day. Your friend’s wedding happens only once.

Post # 21
722 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
@annabananabee:  All of Australia’s cases today were in hotel quarantine. This means that they legally cannot leave their hotel rooms and are tested (I believe) on days 4 and 11 of their quarantine period. If they test positive, they remain in quarantine until they’re no longer a risk to the community. 

Of course, leaks from hotel quarantine can happen and have happened. But the risk to the community is far lower than if these people were out and about.

Australia also has a strong contact tracing program, with all close contacts typically identified within hours. Legally all close contacts must isolate (this is enforced), as must their close contacts (so you have three rings of isolation). All are tested or face an even longer isolation period. The government pays people thousands of dollars to isolate if they do not have sick leave. 

In addition to the contact tracing program, Australia has high testing numbers generally and some states compensate individuals while they wait for their test results. Australia also publishes the list of where every positive case has visited so that people can get tested if necessary (and remember, there are almost no positive community cases in the country). Test result turnaround is generally <24 hours and there is also wastewater testing to pick up undetected cases. Whenever wastewater picks up viral fragments (which can be due to historical shedding), public health alerts are put out. 

Australia also imposes domestic border closures when there are outbreaks. The city of Melbourne (around 5 million people) was cut off from the rest of the state of Victoria for months, with police patroling the city limits and blocking roads. Most recently, the outbreak in South Australia (which recorded no positive cases today) caused all states but NSW to close their borders. South Australia went into a hard lockdown yesterday where residents can’t even leave their houses to exercise, despite there being no cases today and low single digits yesterday. 

No system is perfect, but the situation in Australia is completely different to most of North America and Europe. Melbourne, the example that I mentioned earlier, had a second wave, but strict restrictions mean that there have been no cases detected in the city for 20 days (even though daily testing numbers are about 17k). Wastewater testing is also showing no cases in Melbourne. And Melbourne has been the most affected city in the country, meaning that the situation is way better in other places. 

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