Anime North's Fun Police enforced extraordinary COVID-19 measures on cosplayers, fans

Just when you thought things were returning to pre-COVID-19 normalcy in Ontario, along came Anime North last weekend at the Toronto Congress Centre.

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Anime North is a three-day long convention which celebrates anime, cosplay, manga, music, games, and other forms of Japanese culture. But it sure seemed to us that Anime North was being run by power-tripping COVID-Karens still stuck in 2020.

Which is to say, all attendees were sternly informed that they had to wear an “acceptable mask at all times” — even if their costume included a mask to begin with! (An “acceptable mask” meant a disposable medical mask or respirator that covered the mouth, nose, and chin. Cloth masks weren’t considered acceptable on their own and masks could not contain holes, mesh, valves, or similar openings that would inhibit their protective function. Can’t be too careful, after all!)

Meanwhile, cosplay masks were not considered acceptable on their own – for example, a stormtrooper helmet or a mascot head.

And attendees were indeed asked by Anime North Imperial stormtroopers — er, we mean, staff — to take off their cosplay masks so that it could be verified that an acceptable mask was being worn beneath. Oh, what fun!

And get this: there were even eating and drinking rules that were strictly enforced at Anime North.

To wit:

You must go outside to eat, or eat in the hotel restaurants or your hotel room. Masks may be briefly removed to have a drink of water or other beverage, but must be immediately replaced after drinking. Having a drink in your hand is not the same as drinking!

Oh, and all attendees had to be at least double-jabbed with a COVID-19 vaccine. Being unvaccinated meant you were deemed to be nerd-non-grata…

We just don’t understand. All the various chief medical health necromancers say that vaccines and masks are no longer required for those visiting shopping malls or movie theatres or sports stadia. So why isn’t Anime North no longer, you know, “following the science”? (We did reach out to the organizers, but our queries were ignored.)

Then again, we were somewhat surprised to discover that the vast majority of fan-boys and fan-girls attending Anime North were actually completely on side with such strict rules. With the exception of two individuals we interviewed, Anime North attendees told us they had no issue acquiescing to these baffling restrictions.

How sad: it seems to us that the organizers were clearly power-tripping; then again, it also seems to us that the vast majority of attendees are completely indoctrinated – and therefore have no problem whatsoever with the power-tripping in the first place.

How odd, how bizarre. Someone really needs to produce an anime cartoon about this crazy state of affairs...

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