Face masks now optional! And though vaccinations are not required, nobody likes the obstinate.
We were one of the first businesses in Utah to require face masks, even though we are mostly an outdoor experience. And we support those who still prefer to wear face masks. Unlike the average astronomer, many Dark Rangers® also have biology degrees. We realize that in the cold night air, without the benefit of our closest star's (our Sun) disinfecting UV light, you may be inhaling Coronavirus virions within the foggy breath of others in the immediate vicinity of each telescope. And since we've never required our guests to be vaccinated (we've just tried to incentivize that correct decision), there may still be a risk?
However, throughout the Pandemic our most trusted source for data-driven decision making has been Utah's Hospital Survey Data. Now that our ICUs are less than 70% full and regular hospital beds below 50%, the policy on the private property of our observatory is that face mask are optional. Like many, we have learned not to fear the stigma or politics of face masks. Going forward it seems like a good ethic to mask-up even when contagious with the common cold -- a personal hygiene courtesy. And if anti-toothbrushing becomes a campaign platform, we will openly mock that freeDUMB too.
In the mean time rest assured all Dark Rangers, are vaccinated and boosted. Yes, of course it's a condition of employment. And no, just as you'd expect, it's never been an issue, because astronomers understand and therefore trust science.
We are still using our Protexus electrostatic sprayers armed with sodium troclosene (NaDCC) to treat our indoor spaces and amphitheater seating... because they are awesome!
Without being toxic to humans or animals, this is a medical-grade anti-viral chemical, with longer potency than bleach (NaOCL). These "guns" also disinfect indoor air--which matters most--not just surfaces, which probably mostly didn't.
But What if There's Another Dangerous Variant?
We will adjust our policy to help mitigate its spread accordingly.
No more fancy chairs? Or just no more rebate?
We will ALWAYS have the Zero Gravity Loungers Add-on.
We are only honoring vaccination rebates for purchases of zero gravity chair add-ons for bookings initiated BEFORE April 1, 2022.
Our accountant likes to remind us that we could have bought another BIG telescope with the over $10,000 in zero gravity chair rebates we gave back. We have no regrets. We are glad a record number of people enjoyed our unparalleled view of the Universe from reclining chairs. Our telescopes are great but Telescopes alone don't help you see the proverbial forest for the trees. And since rented equipment gets treated like, well... rented equipment, the time has come to create a fund for replacement chairs.
Besides, the developed world has had an entire year to reject antivax nonsense and realize vaccinations are entirely safe and effective. For those whose COVID deaths of friends and family aren't motivational enough, to get the "jab", neither will be $10.
Oops! I forgot that they prefer to be called "the vaccine hesitant." After all these months of "doing their own research", they still prefer to be called -- "hesitant". Or at least that's how the
antivaxxers we know, explain themselves to us.