As if holding an anime convention in the middle of a pandemic wasn’t bad enough, Anime Dallas took things to another level. Anime News Network reported last week that Con Chair John Swasey and his daughter, Olivia Swasey, were exposed to COVID-19 a week before hosting the event December 4-6.
Swasey claims that they both tested negative after their encounter and quarantined for three days in preparation for the convention. To be clear, this was not a virtual convention. This was a live event in Dallas that hosted 700-800 people.
Health professionals have repeatedly recommended that people quarantine for at least 14 days after exposure, even with a negative test result. By only quarantining for three days, Swasey and his daughter could have inadvertently spread the disease to their staff and attendees.
People on social media, including some voice actors, criticized Swasey for his decision to move forward with the event, and multiple guests canceled their appearance leading up to the weekend.
News of Swasey’s negligence could spell trouble for future conventions, as well. They will need to be extra careful about how they operate now that people will have an even closer eye on them. Not that they should be holding an in-person anime convention during a pandemic anyway.