Saturday, February 4, 2023

 Open Houses at Peach Mountain have resumed, the next open house will be in March 2023.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

 #lowbrowcalendar So far, we of the Lowbrows are still not going to hold open houses as of yet. We await the myriad of changes that will take place in the state as well as the University of Michigan. For now we are still bound to the status quo that the University has told us, stating that all gatherings at Peach Mountain are cancelled for now. 

Why?!? When the state and C.D.C. says it is ok for both vaccinated and unvaccinated alike to gather outdoors without masks?!? 

The simple reason is that this is *not* an all clear stating that the virus has disappeared, or is no longer effective. Many have chosen not to take any COVID-19 vaccines, citing every reason from responses or experiences from being vaccinated for other things, concerns about how they will react to the vaccine, on down to anything negative stated on the internet about the vaccines. Even worse, those who reject the vaccine have also tended to disrespect the potential risks of contracting COVID-19. We are simply in an age where experts are not trusted and it is far more likely to believe a conspiracy as 'fact' or 'truth'. What this truly hides is one thing: fear.

We as the Lowbrows will be faced with navigating this fear as we move forward. What are the possible risks of letting someone look into an eyepiece and being near each other, often well within the 6ft distancing rule? What happens if someone gets sick? What happens if more than one person gets sick at the same time, suggesting that a spreading event is taking place? Is it worth the risk to have such a spreading event possibly lead to positive COVID-19 contractions among those who were at an event we did... and what's the likelihood of that even happening since we've learned that transmission outdoors has a less than 1% chance? Does that less-than-1% chance include any outdoor activities where we will touch surfaces that were just touched by someone else? 

As a science organization, we owe it to ourselves to continue learning the answers to these questions based on C.D.C. guidelines, then we must wait for an official go-ahead from the University of Michigan, before we decide on reopening the open houses. But rest assured, we WILL one day return to bringing out telescopes and sharing our views with the general public. Many of you do not see any real barriers to just doing it now, tomorrow! We respect that; however we also have a healthy respect of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and want to make sure we have taken every single precaution we can, as well as follow the guidance of the University of Michigan. A good number of our membership has been vaccinated in anticipation of change that will very likely come during America's Independence Day (Seems to be set up as a sort of 'Independence against COVID-19 Day' if you ask me!)

I know my musings and ramblings may not be well taken by some who don't see the point and think we should be open now. If you wish to respond, feel free. I'll leave you all with this thought: If you were personally affected by COVID-19, you may be one of the ones agreeing with our stance on the matter. If you have yet to suffer any loss or disability due to COVID-19, you have every reason not to fear it at all. I would wish for you to never have to deal with it, as I have. I have lost friends and family due to COVID-19... and to me, none of them should have left this life as soon as they did. 

 This is a test post. We will be waking up the University Lowbrow Astronomy blogs as a way to communicate to those who follow us. Join us as we navigate the troubled waters of being an astronomy outreach group during the COVID-19 pandemic.