Before messaging or emailing us, please read the following in its entirety.
Dear Mephit Fur Meet attendees,
Thank you so much for your support over the years, and thank you even more for the support you’ve shown us in the last year. This pandemic took away our chance to come together in 2020, took many of our jobs and hurt and killed so many people dear to us. MFM has worked hard to make sure we will still be here when the time comes we can be together again. We have tried to be hopeful and cautions that we could have some good news about MFM 2021. We are finally able to give you our first update in some time and let you know that we will soon begin registration and hotel booking for the Mephit Fur Meet.
Many of you may be asking why plan a convention during the COVID crisis? While the nation suffers through this pandemic, we must plan ahead and hope everyone is able to get their vaccine in May or June and with cases falling, meets like MFM can hopefully start back up. A meet like MFM has multiple contracts which are in effect and also takes many months to arrange: there are vendors to confirm, panels and events to plan, and we need to be able to allow registrations and promote all the things you have to look forward to. Now is the time to begin this promotion, with the hope that by the time of MFM, we can all go back to having fun again.
We have missed putting on MFM as much as you’ve missed attending, but we will only go forward if the meet can be held in a safe manner that is approved by the state, city, and venue. We also don’t want to host a meet with so many restrictions that it ruins the fun, and if there are that many restrictions, it wouldn’t be safe to hold MFM anyway. We hope to walk the fine line between safe and fun, and we hope you’ll walk it with us. We’ve outlined many of these points in a frequently asked question style below. If there’s a question you have that isn’t answered, please feel free to send us a message or email and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Between now and MFM, please stay safe, mask up, wash your hands, and remember that the night is always darkest before the dawn.
Q: Does your announcement today have anything to do with the governor’s recent announcements?
A: Yes and no. MFM like every other large event is under a contract with their hotel and others. With Mississippi dropping restrictions our contract is in FULL FORCE and the cancellation penalties would bankrupt the organization. With the vaccine rollout coming together though, we think there is a chance for a safer version of MFM.
Q: What is MFM’s position on Covid Safety Protocols
A: The position of the Mephit Fur Meet is that COVID is real, masks are good, and vaccines are wonderful. We urge everyone to get their vaccine as soon as able and if you are coming to MFM, please know we are doing everything possible to keep everyone safe including asking everyone to wear masks or face shields in any MFM controlled area of the hotel.
Q: Why are you doing MFM when COVID is still an issue?
A: We are projecting forward in hopes that by the time MFM happens in early September, we will have reached herd immunity through vaccination. We must plan months in advance for MFM, and we’ve been working for many months prior to this come up with ideas and plans to enable this year’s meet to happen
Q: Other Furry events have been canceled for 2021. Why aren’t you?
A: Some major events have many more logistics, are in a different area where the vaccine rollout is lagging behind, or have venues that want to push everything to 2022. We’ve discussed safety with Whispering Woods and read all projections on vaccine rollout and the prognosis for herd immunity, and we feel confident that with a few tweaks MFM can safely happen. If something changes between now and then, we will adjust our plans and update everyone
Q: Are you capping the number of MFM memberships sold?
A: Yes, we are going to limit the total number of attendees in order to allow a safer MFM experience. We know that many want to start going back to cons but we don’t want the weekend experience ruined by too large of crowds.
Q: Will we be required to wear masks?
A: Although Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has massively scaled back COVID-19 protocols in Mississippi, he says Mississippians are still encouraged to wear a mask or face shield and practice social distancing. We will still be required by the venue, the city, or the state to enforce certain restrictions, and without abiding by those restrictions, we may not get to have MFM.We are asking you to wear masks, so please do so. This has been a difficult time for all of us, and we need your help to make sure MFM can happen. And, masks are a big part of things anyway, so if we are required to have masks, have fun with it and make it awesome!
Q: What other restrictions might be in place?
A: Other restrictions may include changing MFM event room locations, providing more room for lines, spacing out seating, or other layout and schedule modifications.
Q: Haven’t all the restrictions in Mississippi just been lifted?
A: Yes, but there are caveats. Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has just recently massively scaled back COVID-19 protocols in Mississippi, but indoor public venues would still be limited to half-capacity. Many businesses though, still require masks including Whispering Woods.
That means we must continue to monitor the Department of Health, Governor’s Orders, and the recommendations of the CDC and other agencies in regards to what’s best for our attendees. If there are too many restrictions in place, we simply will have to take MFM virtual again. A lot of restrictions means hosting MFM isn’t feasible from a public health aspect, and we’ll never do a meet that puts you at risk. Also, too many restrictions can take the fun away, and our main goal besides your health and wellness is that you have fun.
Q: What sanitary measures will you take?
A: We will have hand sanitizer stations throughout MFM, the facility will be cleaned throughout the day, and some team members may wear gloves.
Q: What additional measures of safety will the Con Suite aka the Critter Cafe be taking?
A: Our Critter Cafe staff has always had ServSafe certified staff in addition to a ServSafe Certified Food Manager as well. We are moving the Critter Cafe to the Oak Ballroom (where gaming has been) for better social distancing, our staff will be serving things in individual portions in bags, cups, bowls. The staff will also help get your soda or coffee this year. We have a long restaurant background so we have looked into every safety aspect possible including individually wrapped plasticware and such. All staff to plan on being vaccinated by the time MFM rolls around.
Q: What sanitary measures should we as attendees take?
A: Bring your own sanitizer, wash your hands frequently, wear a mask and be mindful of others.
Q: I stay at Whispering Woods. Are they taking extra precautions?
A: Yes, they are adding extra cleaning and sanitary measures to ensure your safety.
Q: What if I’m not feeling so hot one of the days at MFM?
A: Please stay home. Although we want to share the joy of MFM with as many people as possible, we must all practice our best efforts to not spread a virus, whether that be COVID-19 or something else. Get tested, rest up, and we’ll see you soon.
Q: Can I volunteer to help at the event?
A: Yes, please see our website for more information!
Q: I’m a vendor or artist. Are you taking applications for booth space?
A: We will have more information on this soon!.
Q: It really sucks that you couldn’t do MFM last year in person. What can I do to help?
A: Register, and supporting the dealers and artists are a great start. Sharing our social media posts helps us get the word out, and being patient with any restrictions we may have to impose this year will make our job a lot easier. Other than that, have fun, be polite to one another, and remember that we’re all in this together. Mephit Fur Meet is all about community!
Q: I can’t come this year. Will you be back next year?
A: Definitely! We will be back hopefully more normal and will begin planning for 2022 soon.
We hope your questions and concerns have been answered in the above FAQ. If not, please message us and we’ll answer right away.
We have many exciting announcements soon; keep checking our website and social media for updates. And since everyone’s timeline could use a little cheering up these days, please share our posts so that everyone may join in on the fun. We can’t do this without you, and after a year of no MFM, we need your help more than ever to get the word out!
To find out more about COVID restrictions in your area and where you can go to get information on the vaccine, here are some helpful links and information.
Q: Where can I go to get more information on COVID and its effects on Mississippi and its residents?
A: The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) continue to closely monitor the outbreak of respiratory illnesses caused by the novel (new) coronavirus COVID-19, and are working to limit the spread of cases nationally and in Mississippi. MSDH is actively working with doctors and hospitals on responding safely and effectively to COVID-19.
You can find Public Resources, Employment Interruption Resources, Mississippi Public Education Updates, Public Preparedness Resources, a Mississippi Case Map, Testing Locations, Vaccine Patient Screening Info, Healthcare Professionals Info, MSDH Resources, and CDC Resources at the following website https://www.coronavirus.ms.gov/
The University of Mississippi Medical Center is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by taking aggressive steps to increase testing, promote vaccination against the virus, stem transmission and create forward-thinking health care solutions that benefit patients and families.
Visit their website at https://www.umc.edu/CoronaVirus/home.html
Public health protection takes a wide variety of forms, from ensuring the safety of your food and water to setting standards for health and care facilities. The Mississippi Department of Health has set up a website dedicated to COVID-19.
Visit their website at https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/14,0,420.html
Q: What are Governor Reeves and the state government doing to help combat COVID in Mississippi?
A: There have been over 60 Executive Orders issued related to the pandemic, with the latest – Executive Order No. 1549 – declaring that “Attendance at events held in indoor arenas, including college and university arenas, shall be limited…” We are working with the Whispering Woods to determine exactly what those limitations are. We have been in communications with them since last year and with the vaccine rates in the state, things are looking good that limitations could be a non-issue by the time of the event.
For more information on the Governor’s response, visit https://governorreeves.ms.gov/COVID-19/
Q: Who can I call to get more information about COVID in Mississippi?
A: The Mississippi COVID-19 Hotline, which operates 7 days a week from 7 a.m.–7 p.m, is 1-877-978-6453. Are you hearing impaired? Call 711.
Q: What are hot spots, and how can I stay safe?
A: Since the beginning of the pandemic, Mayo Clinic has been tracking COVID-19 trends and predicting hot spots to keep their staff and hospitals safe. Now, they are sharing the data they monitor so you can protect yourself and the people you love. The data the publish is updated daily and is compiled from USAFacts, The COVID Tracking Project, Department of Health statistics, and Mayo Clinic patient data. As COVID-19 cases surge across the United States, it’s not uncommon to see delays or gaps in the raw numbers reported.
To see their maps and statistics, visit https://www.mayoclinic.org/coronavirus-COVID-19/map/mississippi
Q: Do you have any information on getting the COVID vaccine?
A: Absolutely! Check out https://vaccinefinder.org/