This project will be breaking off from Skytalks in the next few days. While it was originally started under the Skytalks banner because it was thought our name would gather attention for the project and engender trust that we won’t harm the community, it has become obvious to me (bluknight) that the opposite has happened. This is not what I wanted.
The final update under the Skytalks banner is below. This page will be replaced with a redirect to a new site to carry on getting the results of this data… And hopefully, a controlled survey again at some point, under more controlled circumstances and better anonymization.
The existing data, unless Google fails me, will be seen only by myself. I will not be releasing any PII (which has only been used in a half-assed attempt at duplication) and said data will be deleted at the end of the survey period after deduplication is completed. The only remaining data will be:
- a date and time that an entry was submitted, serving as an ad-hoc unique identifier
- date tested positive
- dates and locations attended
- any comments in the comments field
Any data processing will be on those fields only.
More comments coming soon.
16 August 2023 1268 March 2020 @ 0358 UTC
Total cases reported to Skytalks: 300
Earliest reported positive test: 10 August 2023 (DEF CON Thursday)
NOTE: We are seeing multiple people reporting in that “several people in my group/team/event/whatever” are showing positive — THOSE PEOPLE DO NOT SHOW IN THIS COUNT. We count based on who’s reporting, only, so if multiple people in your group are reporting positive, PLEASE HAVE THEM HIT THE TRACKER.
It’s not our intention to leak “so-and-so reported positive” in general here, guys — but we are looking at numbers, and every piece of data helps.
If you test positive…
Please stop by the Skytalks COVID survey and self-report. While we ask for identifcation information, we don’t plan to release the entire table at this time, although we might make a list of the social media posts made (assuming they’re publicly available).
Some testing suggestions…
Test early, test often. bluknight recommends testing at least every other day (he prefers daily) from the time you arrive “on-site” until 14 days after you leave. This is to lessen the gaps in testing and catch positives earlier. Current recommendation from the FDA is 3 times over 5 days, but we respectfully disagree, and push a more frequent, and longer, testing regime.
This article coming from the Journal of the American Medical Association has some interesting thoughts and comments on swabbing the throat and cheeks (inside) as well as the nasal passages. It’s worth noting that the FDA has NOT approved tests for throat swabs yet and voices concern about decreased test sensitivity, among other things, but we’ve observed anecdotal reports from “within the community” that throat swabs seem to provide additional sensitivity, or at least catch infection load earlier. YMMV. This is what some of us are doing.
Some comments from the survey (and socials and elsewhere)…
- “Started feeling sick on Sunday, wore a mask for def con but not black hat (oops!). Participated in after hours events each night of black hat and def con so lots of exposure”
- “Mostly masked using N95 or a Flo Mask with a pro filter, however I was unmasked while actively presenting or eating/drinking on the go”
- “This odd my 3rd time getting it. Fully vaxed and boosted. This is by far the worst bout of it. Came on. While driving home [… out of town …] on Sunday.”
- “I never actually attended DefCon, tested positive when I got to Vegas so did not leave the hotel room.”
- “First symptoms showed on Tuesday at 1am but tested negative.” [This person reported their positive test was on Thursday. -ed]
- “Who knew packing everyone in to the merch line was a bad idea?”
- “Returning COVID CTF champion, same thing happened last year.”
- “If I was told this would happen in advance the past week was so fantastic it would be worth it.”
- “Maybe the one time being poor has led to my health care being BETTER.” @dawisco_ on Twitter/X
And a final remark from the staff at Skytalks…
According to the Case Fatality data (updated 16 March 2023) from Johns Hopkins, that means that statistically, someone on the list isn’t going to survive. 1.1% mortality. Not good.