The Human/Wildlife Connection
Lindsay Returns to In-Person ActivitiesPosted on: June 7th, 2021
Executive Director’s Blog Entry #45
This past weekend I went with my wife to a family friends’ gathering. There were some 15 people there, including a couple of children. All of the adults had received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccines, and we gathered outdoors in the backyard for a barbecue. It was the first time we were able to comfortably—and safely—hug people, carry out conversations without the muffling effects of the masks (which we carry with us at all times), and see full faces for the first time in over 15 months. It was refreshing, soul-restoring, and simply lovely. We felt that finally, we were approaching a level of normality that we have missed for many months.
We’re still following tight protocols for social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand and surface sanitation at Lindsay. We realize that we can safely make some concessions in our private lives. However, at work, we live with a different set of parameters. A month ago, on May 4, we reopened our Exhibit Hall to the public for a few hours a day. We’re slowly expanding the days and hours that we’re open. The goal is to fully open the exhibit hall and indoor programs and spaces after June 15, pending the availability of staff and volunteers to manage visitors and the interpretive stations. However, the expected announcement of back to “all normal” from the Governor’s office needs to be consistent and aligned with the recommendations and mandates of Contra Costa County and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA). They use a more refined level of detail and data than the state-wide metrics.
For example, Contra Costa County is still in the orange tier (50% capacity for indoor venues), requiring adherence to social distancing and mask-wearing. As the vaccination numbers improve and expand, we expect these recommendations to relax progressively. Our primary concern is still the safety of ALL our visitors, staff, and volunteers. So please, bear with us a little longer and wear your mask indoors, be aware of social distancing, use our sanitary stations, and enjoy the new exhibits and the animal ambassador programs indoors as well as outdoors.
We love the fact that our local audience is coming back. The statistics (we reopened the exhibit hall on May 4) look great, and the trend is positive, meaning more and more people feel comfortable coming indoors to visit with our ambassadors, staff, and volunteers. Weekends are, as expected, the most popular days to visit. We reached maximum capacity a few times, but the visitors waiting to come in are always treated to close-up experiences with some of our ambassadors. The outpouring of love and friendliness from our visitors is heartwarming.
See you soon at Lindsay!
Carlos L. de la Rosa