I originally had a very long, maudlin newsletter written here about I was feeling better entering 2021 than I did entering 2020, and my hopes for the year, and then I realized that, ultimately, I need to bring more value to what I’m writing, and do more to organize and make it “pop,” sharing the important things that matter to me, or that I’ve consumed, in the last 24 hours since I wrote about pissed off I am at people who don’t think about others’ lives with regards to COVID.
Why It’s Going To Suck Getting A Vaccine at Levi Stadium
In an act of selfless free marketing, the San Francisco 49ers offered Levi Stadium as a place to go and get a COVID-19 vaccine. While it’s good that there will be a place to give a vaccine out potentially, it is going to suck. Levi Stadium may be one of the worst places in the world to get to, and even worse to leave. It is going to be a clusterfuck, because there is no good way to get to and leave the stadium. See the below image.
Now, maybe the vaccine crowd won’t be as bad as gameday, but it also has the potential to be worse - a cluster of people coming to a place built theoretically to attract people and have them stay, but actually being developed in the least people-friendly manner possible. Assuming that they use the same security measures they do with games (I hope not), people will have to somehow visit and go through metal detectors (lots of great times to touch other people!), and may not even be able to bring their personal belongings in. They’ll then I assume have to march onto the field, or maybe they’ll use the giant areas around the stadium - I don’t know - but even if all of that is easy peasy, the other problem is Levi Stadium is in the ass-end of nowhere, and is built almost as if people didn’t want you to see the 49ers.
Actual public transport access to the area sucks - that map correctly makes it seem like there’s no quick bus or Caltrain or BART stations, and yes, it has a VTA station - that Google maps claims is 4 minutes away, but realistically with crowds is 10 or more. That’s also assuming that you have a VTA station near you. You can also transfer from Caltrain at Mountain View to the VTA light rail. I don’t think they’re gonna run the usual shuttle from the Fremont BART to the stadium either.
Tasman Drive and Great America Parkway are also a traffic-jammed mess, and in general I think this is a horrible idea, and I think it will be a nightmare that has the chance of being a superspreader event. Great stuff!
CES is happening despite nobody being allowed to go anywhere, and frankly I think it might be bad news for the conference at large. The fact that so many announcements are still happening without the physical presence of reporters and brands means that some may decide that, in fact, there’s no good reason to go to Las Vegas. Hell, even Samsung managed to dupe reporters into covering their wine-pouring, dishwashing robot despite the fact that there is no release date and very clearly not going to get released in forever.
I think it’ll still happen! It’s just going to be, I think, a different CES in 2022 - I wouldn’t be surprised if they reduce the size to just the LVCC or the Sands, simply because I think that many people are going to be concerned that either COVID isn’t under control or that there’s some other shit they could catch. Hell, during CES 2020 I know people reported a CES flu that sounded, well, exactly like COVID. I know I spent the entire week feeling like I was going to throw up, tired, and just generally like dogshit - but that may have just been me existing in myself.
I don’t even know what our CES plans will be next year. Living in Las Vegas means that I’m significantly less worried about accommodations and flights shooting up in price, though I know I still need a central point where everyone can come meet us and drink with us. The CTA has confirmed the show will return in 2022, but at this point minus a vaccine I’m far less willing to start booking stuff, not knowing when me and my people will actually be safe to walk around other people. And, indeed, there may just be a general purpose “I don’t want to go to this show” feeling from reporters - which I believe will have ramifications for just about everyone who gets a ton of business and networking done in one short week in January.
It’ll be curious. I can imagine at least one major outlet simply not going, or sending a skeleton crew. But there’s also the potential rubber band effect of being cooped up for what will, at that point, have been over a year and a half - people may desperately want to go out and see people, even if they hate CES. It’s a magical world we live in, and I hope that people want to go, as I want to see the people I know.