Having seen what a January Sherlock weekend looks like without a geographical center, the Sherlockian world has definitely added still more arrows to our social quiver. And we all have hopes for next year, with vaccines rolling out as we speak, and look forward to things getting back to normal. The thing is, when we go back, we now have an opportunity for "normal plus" with all that we've learned.
So, if all goes well, is next January just "Party in New York for those who can! Screw the rest of you!"?
I don't think that has to be the case.
We don't know what this year will bring, to be sure. But those of us who can say for sure that we're pretty sure we won't be in New York next January in any case can start discussing what we might have for our fellow non-travelers on that weekend. And for those who are still going to New York? Broadcasting events even though they have in-person attendees would be great for expanding knowledge of, and drawing future participants to some events as well. Things don't have to be either-or, if there are willing volunteers to run Zooms off-site.
Way back when the Friday night dinner of the Baker Street Irregulars wouldn't allow women, the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes created a second event for that night so more people had something to go to, a natural evolution of the weekend, which has continued under various names ever since. After this year, is it time for a third event as a continuing part of that evolution, for those who can't get to either of those? (Admittedly, Friday evening limits it to mainly participants from the US and Canada due to time zones, of course, but one step at a time.)
Even though this is that post-weeekend time when projects abound and one doesn't want to over-commit, it might be time to start thinking about that. As a habitual non-attender of the New York weekend, I'm pretty sure I'll be in the same place next year that I was this year. I'm also going to definitely be increasing my Zoom skills even if I'm vaccinated and getting out to other weekends in other cities. So this isn't just a "someone should do that" situation. I'd be interested in having a conversation with anyone who might see this as a worthwhile endeavor to get involved in, as there are a lot of possibilities. And we've got a year.
We've seen how many strange new things that a single year can bring to our lives. Maybe in 2021, we start making sure they are strange new good things.