30-Dec-2021 (Thu) Wherein it's almost New Year's Eve

You may have heard that a number of local venues have decided to close down for a few weeks because of Omicron. That cannot have been an easy decision for them, especially over New Year's Eve, and I commend them on it.

However, DNA Lounge will be open on New Year's Eve, featuring both Bootie and Megalodon. And if you're going out clubbing right now, DNA Lounge is probably the safest place you can go. The "if" in that sentence is admittedly doing a lot of heavy lifting. But, we have consistently had the strictest vaccination policy of any nightclub in town, and probably the nation. We are literally the only venue that actually scans your QR code. You can be about as sure as you can be that you're not sharing the room with the unvaccinated.

Sadly, CDC still says that "un-boostered" counts as "fully vaccinated", which is patently false.

I wish I didn't have to say these things out loud, but I probably do:

  • Please, please, please get your booster shots. If you are more than six months out from your first vaccination, you are now effectively only half vaccinated or less.

  • Stop wearing fabric masks and bandanas. They do not help at all with Omicron. You need N95, KN95 or FFP2 now. You can wear your "pretty" mask on top of your "real" mask.

  • THE MASK GOES OVER YOUR NOSE.

  • And FFS, stop pulling down your mask at the bar to shout-spit your order at the bartender! It has been two years, do you still not understand how this works?

A couple of changes coming up here at ye olde DNA Lounge:

First: starting in mid-January, we're going to be requiring boosters for entry to DNA Lounge, for anyone who is more than six months out from their first round. And the only reason we're waiting that long to begin is that it is still proving a bit difficult for people to get booster appointments. So, you have a few weeks. Take care of your problem now. We don't enjoy standing on the sidewalk listening to you tell us how it's "not fair" and "you didn't know".

Second: we're about to start doing weekly rapid PCR testing (that's the real kind) on all of our staff. The testing will be done on site by Discovery Health, in case you're interested in doing the same at your own business.

It's not cheap, and we have to pay for it ourselves. Gee, isn't that the sort of thing the departments of health should be paying for, as a part of the national pandemic strategy? Ha ha ha, there is no strategy. We are still living in a Libertarian hellscape where our Federal and local governments are pretending that we can all just "personal choice" our way out of this. All of us small businesses are left needing to pick and choose our own policies about things that should be national or at least state-wide legal requirements, and we're all going to die.

You know, us small businesses that Maskless Mayor Breed calls the "fun police".

You may have heard that CDC cut the quarantine time in half at based on the research of noted scientist... checks notes... Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Airlines. CDC is also also running ads that basically say, "Get vaccinated so you don't starve". It's pretty great to see such vivid proof that instead of protecting people, they are protecting capital. Some of my favorite responses to the unscientific quarantine reduction:

Anyway, New Year, huh?

Last year I did a "What have we accomplished this year?" post... This is the part, I am told, where I am supposed to say something positive and uplifting. I'm not really feeling it right now, but let's give it a try:

In the first few months of the year, we did a whole lot of remodeling. We have a new dance floor! We made some major upgrades to our sound and lighting systems. We were able to do these things thanks to some generous donors, and for that we are incredibly grateful.

In the first half of the year, while we were still closed, we also did a bunch of parklet parties. They were fun, but, they had like tens of people attend, so it wasn't much of a substitute for actually being a nightclub.

Then we finally got to re-open at the end of June! People were finally able to crawl out from under their rocks, pale and fish-like, squinting at the light. It looks like this year we had around 200 in-person, in-door events, including 29 live shows (regrettably under-attended though they were). In July it seemed like things were slowly starting to return to normal... and then Delta happened and everyone got afraid. And then Omicron happened and, well, you know.

Despite that, we had some pretty great live shows. Here are just a few samples. Plus, Halloween Week was fantastic, and we got to do another Cyberdelia. And a whole bunch of Hubbas! We also once again won "Best Nightclub", "Best Dance Party" and "Best Burlesque" in Best of the Bay.


So, what did that all amount to? We got to actually run our business for half of the year, and that half was at way less than half capacity. But, we got to employ our staff, and we got to give our community a relatively safe opportunity to leave the damned house so that they could try to avoid completely losing their minds.

That quarter was a very long year, is what I'm saying.

So uh, Happy New Year. Try not to die.

10 Responses:

  1. sclatter says:

    Curious about the testing you are doing... Rapid PCR isn't really a thing. Just the nature of how PCR works requires a certain amount of time. Basically I'm wondering if it's the 15 minute isothermal amplification (e.g. Abbot IDNow) and they are calling it PCR. My husband uses the IDNow at work and it is pretty slick. It isn't PCR though, and is not as sensitive, though it a lot better than an antigen test. It is similar to PCR in that it is testing for the nucleic acid component of the virus, but the method of amplification is quite different.

  2. stb says:

    Re QR code: as a non-resident, is there a way to get proof of vaccination that you will accept? I have a European QR code and the yellow vaccination booklet (EU/UN). (And I'm boostered.)

  3. Andrew says:

    Seriously, thank you. Especially for leading by example on testing and boosters, which nobody else seems to want to do. I'm staying in on NYE but hope to be there again shortly!

  4. Dude says:

    There's a reason why I called The Lounge "the only place where I felt 100% safe" - and I wound up in some shitty situations, mainly because door staff would just hand-wave everyone's photo of a vax card. (I can't remember a single other place besides the Lounge that actually scanned the QR. Most just eye-balled it the way they did IDs.)

    Thanks for you and the staff keeping us all safe. Lots of places are cancelling events all through January, but I have a good feeling that The Lounge will be the one place I definitely visit in the new year.

    And I hear you about folks who drop their masks to order drinks. No matter how loud it was, the bartenders seemed to hear me fine with my (double-)masks on. If mask-pullers are oh-so-concerned the bartender won't understand them, why not just write out a text or note on their phone and hold it up? I did that in the pre-pandemic days.

    Again, thanks for the fun (safe) times this year.

  5. jeff bishop says:

    you're pretty transparent about how the sausage is made in keeping a venue open in SF. i dont remember seeing any posts about SVOG here. did yall not receive support from SBA like many of the venues in town? even my little film fest got some $ from those guys, enough to keep some ppl employed for another year.

    • jwz says:

      Yeah, we eventually got grants from SVOG and a couple other smaller funds. It was extremely helpful!

  6. Trotsky says:

    Something relevant I just found out -- if you saved your vax card to your phone (ie. from myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov), it doesn't automatically update with your booster info. You need to re-save it after getting your booster to add that info.

    I happened to get a new phone, had to install the vax card on the new one, and noticed the old one doesn't show my booster.

    Maybe that doesn't matter with the proper protocol. Does the QR scan fetch up to date shot data?

    • jwz says:

      That's because the QR code contains your info and a cryptographic signature from the state. Scanning the code just verifies that info against the signature, and does not contact the network, or require a network connection at all. It's all self-contained.

      This is good in a lot of ways, but the unfortunate side effect is that, yes, every time you get a new shot, you need to download a new QR code indicating that.

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