October 23, 2020

Episode 265: Fall Update on Agility Trials and COVID-19

In this episode (50:28)

In this episode, the team discusses the impact of Covid-19 on major dog agility events in the United States, highlighting various adjustments and postponements including the recently announced changes for Westminster 2021.

You Will Learn

  • How Covid-19 has impacted major agility events.
  • How the US Open went 100% virtual.
  • What Covid-19 precautions are in effect at the AKC Invitational.
  • When European Tryouts for Team USA have been postponed to.
  • Westminster’s new date and location for 2021.
  • Why dog agility is being featured on a South Korean variety show.
  • The important of mask wearing to the future of dog agility.
  • Esteban’s thoughts on vaccine development.


You're listening to Bad Dog Agility, bringing you training tips, interviews and news about the great sport of dog agility. I'm Jennifer, I'm Esteban and I'm Sarah and this is episode 265.

Today’s podcast is brought to you by HitItBoard.com. HitItBoard.com has the innovative training tools you need for agility. Having problems with the dogwalk or Aframe? The HitIt Board can fix that. Your dog doesn't like tugging? They'll love the TugIt. Can't move your Aframe around by yourself? The MoveIt can. Go to HitItBoard.com and use discount code BDA10 to get 10% off your order. That's HitItBoard.com!

Today, we're going to give you a fall update on agility, trials and COVID. And one of the reasons that we wanted to take this opportunity to do this is that Westminster just announced a change in date and venue for the masters agility championship at Westminster.

And so we wanted to talk about that and also about some of the other big events and the changes that are happening and just kind of an update of where we are now in this panel, Right? Let's go all the way back to March 6th. And that's the day that we came out with a podcast. And on that very day here in the United States,

we had 319 confirmed cases of COVID and there had been 15 deaths and let's fast forward to today. We have 8.5 million cases. This is just since March and we are here in October. It has not even been one full year. So we've gone from 319 to 8.5 million, 226,184 dead in the U S alone. Our response here as a nation has not been good.

I think when we look at a couple of comparisons for our agility audience, we have a lot of listeners, for example, in Canada, Canada, with a population of 37 million, which is about the U S is nine times more than Canada, right? Canada has about 9,823 deaths. So all you would do is times that number by nine, and you would get like 81,000.

So you can see that's 30% of what we're getting here in the U S as far as deaths Canada is doing, or has done a better job with the virus than we have UK as the other one United Kingdom with a population of 68 million. So the us is about five times that, but they have a 44,000 deaths and you can see that their response is actually on par with ours,

right? And so both countries have done a really poor job. And these are three very big countries here in agility, right? Makes up the largest portion of agility in the world. And so I wanted to put those numbers out there for you by comparison countries that did a very good job. South Korea is, are case in point, and they have 25,424 cases.

And just four 50 deaths let that soak in today. We had more cases than Korea has had the entire time. Okay. Today in one day and 450 deaths, they have a population of 51 million people. So our population about six or seven times bigger. So even if you multiply that out, that's still less than 3000 deaths, right. Which is a remarkable thing.

And they were one of the early countries to be hit by the virus. And they stomped it down very quickly. I bring up South Korea because one of the things we will share with you in the show notes page is our very own Jennifer crank was on a new South Korean variety show, game show, variety game show. Yeah. Kind of like a,

a reality TV show, kind of. Yeah. It's like, it's like Netflix, you know, like whatever you, whatever show you watch on Netflix, 10 episodes in a season, and what they are doing in South Korea is take, they're taking super famous people. And in South Korea, they call them idols. Right? They're usually singers actors, entertainers.

They're, they're like the Disney kids here in the U S they sing, they dance, they act, they do lots of different things. Right. And so they used to have them do all these sports competitions against each other, you know, like I see the idol do things outside of their expertise. You know, they train with experts and then they go and compete against each other,

but COVID of course has changed all that. Right. And so for a country that has less than 500 deaths, right. You know, they've taken it very seriously and activities that are very high risk. They aren't doing it. And that includes a lot of different sports activities. And so they're looking for these substitute activities and what did they come up with?

Dog agility, Dog agility. Right. So in my Head, I imagined that there, you know, the producers clicking around on the internet sees this video of Jennifer running Swift. Right. And that's the one they were like, Oh, we need this video. Can we put this video in our show? Right. Jennifer had swept. And so they,

they contacted us to get permission to do that. And so of course you, you can see Jennifer and Swift on the show. So we'll give you a link on how to get to the show. It's a whole series. They've just heard episode one, Sarah. And I watch it in its entirety. It's great, great cliffhanger. And the, and they literally are taking famous people with their dog,

With their own peril and pet dogs. And they're working with like a, a professional actually trainer. They have an FCI judge. They have a two G the two people on the panel of four. It's like, you know, your commentator, then your famous actress or actor person, and then an FCI judge. And then also a regular dog trainer.

Like I assume it agility trainer as well. And they, so they teach them up and then they, then they put them out there. And so far in, in week one, like, I don't want to give it away, but they have a cool basically it's very basic, like a straight line sequence, but I've seen some of the previous,

right. And they have like full courses with obstacles and all that stuff. And it's, it's really great. You should watch it. You can get it on Vicky. Yes. We'll put a link in the show notes and we'll put a link to a short clip that shows a certain center for on it and see the logo and all that stuff. And don't be confused.

I did not actually travel there to be honest. I used it exactly the way I expected. They just asked for permission to use it in a series that they were putting together that featured dog agility. And when I looked at what they were doing with these, you know, taking these idols and letting them do agility with their pet dogs, I thought,

Oh, they're just going to show Jennifer to show what agility looks like with somebody who knows what they're doing. And that's exactly how they used it. It was like, as they were describing what agility is, you see Jennifer running Swift in the background and, and then they, they cut to the idols training their dogs. Well, it's so worthy of mentioned because that is a country that is single-minded in their focus to defeat the Corona virus.

Right. And they are not going to run around doing things that are going to put people at risk. And so it is very interesting that they selected dog agility, as something safe that they can do and put out there publicly. Yeah. Right. And one of the very cool scenes that you're going to see in this video is them disinfecting the field and equipment and gear.

Right. They've got people like in hazmat suits, like just spraying the stuff down with heavy duty chemicals that they were very, very serious when this thing came out, like they were like wiping down the streets and sidewalks and Seoul, the capital of South Korea. So anyway, I wanted to bring up the South Korea situation, one other one big powerhouse country in dog

agility is Sweden. There's a lot of talk of Sweden because they kind of went for the, her herd immunity effect. They took a very different approach from the rest of Europe. And they were like, you know, let's kind of wait and see how this going to shake up. Maybe in the long run it'll have been better. I think it's pretty safe to say that it's been a failure,

right? 10 million people in that country, 107,000 cases, plus with almost 6,000 deaths to date in Sweden, they're doing far worse than any of the other Scandinavian countries. It's been a real debacle over there, a political hot potato now, as it has become here in the United States. So let's kind of now, now that now that we have that big overview,

right. We, we sounded the alarm when it was nothing. Right. It was just starting out. And then we were like, Hey, this is going to become something the science says so. Right. And it turned out that that was the case on, you know, to the most extreme, unfortunate level. Right. And here we are now.

And well, why, why are, why are we here now? Where are we talking about again? Well, it definitely is relating to agility because we have had some resumption of trials both here in the United States, as well as in Europe. Right. And we're, we're kind of at this new tipping point, new inflection point, and unfortunately cases are starting to skyrocket again.

Okay. And this was predictable. We knew that there would be a fall surge coming based on what we know of the behavior of other Corona viruses. Remember this is not the first Corona virus to ever enter into the human population. And when you can make some predictions based on the behavior of people, the two based ones being pandemic fatigue, everyone gets kind of tired of it.

And they're like, Hey, I'm tired of being cooped up in my house. We need to get out there and do stuff. We need to return to work. You know, economies, everywhere, tanking, people need money. And the other one being that school's open, right? So one of the first things that happened in March was we had shut down,

right? Jennifer's kid came home, our kids came home. Suddenly everybody was home and mobility really dropped down. People weren't going around as much, but all that obviously changes when school returns, right? So everybody's mobility is going to be going up. And so a lot of these things were predictable. Okay. Well, when we look at cases and deaths,

I think this is the last point I'll make about cases and deaths here March and may. We were looking at here in the United States, about 33,000 new cases a day, obviously a lot, the peak was actually in the summer, July 75,000. Right? And then we were reaching that peak state where 2000 people, Americans were dying every single day, a new set of 2000 Americans every single day.

Right now we're at 60, 70,000 new cases. So we are almost back to July levels. And we are just at the start of this peak, this peak is going to be bigger, but the deaths are trailing, meaning we are not seeing 2000 people die a day. Right. So what's going on if we're having the same number of cases, why aren't the deaths the same?

So we're doing a much better job in a bunch of different areas. One is detection, right? So in general, more people are getting tested. In my opinion, is it enough? No. Right. We should be testing even more than we're doing. Right. The countries that have had more success have had more testing. Number two, the people who do get sick are getting better treatment,

right? Because we have much more information. Doctors, science has really been on top of this, not just in trying to develop these vaccines of which there are more than 20 or 30 in progress, 20 or 30 different ones. But in how we treat people who are sick, how we treat people who are critically ill, experimental treatments, we're, we're doing,

we're, you know, we're throwing the kitchen sink at this thing and we're doing it in a very fast way. Okay. So we see improvements in basically the death rate. So your risk of dying is much lower than it was before. Okay. But the rise in cases is very, very concerning. And I think here, we want to get into,

I think let's, let's do this. Let us start talking about the events one by one. And then what I'll do is I'll bring in the agility tie-ins as they relate to the virus and things that you should be thinking about. If you're planning on attending these events, similar events, or even local trials, just the decision to go to the local trial can be similar to,

you know, the decision you would have to make in attending these events are not for you and yourself. All right. So first let's start with the us open. So who has information about the us open that would be Jennifer And the U S open is kind of UK eyes national, right. So it was scheduled to be the second weekend of November in Florida.

And they made a decision quite a while ago kind of, I think, you know, sometime in the middle of the summer to go ahead and cancel that event, just given all of the, you know, issues with the coronavirus and the restrictions and the nature of the event. It just didn't make sense. It didn't seem safe. Also keep in mind that UK has a lot of their crew coming in from overseas,

right. So it's not an localized event. Right? Exactly. So they went ahead and decided to cancel the U S open. What they are offering is a us open by video. So they are going to be offering an event on that same weekend where you will be able to sign up and then it will be video submission. So they'll have certain classes on certain days,

you'll get the course maps in the beginning or at the morning, and you'll have that day to run it and submit your video by midnight. And they're actually doing progressions and everything. So they'll have judges like judging live, letting you know, if you make it into the next round. So it's actually really nice in that regard. The one thing that is also worth noting about the U S open is that is the tryouts for Wayo.

So that is like the teen trials for weao, but that was also canceled. It was supposed to be held in this past may. And what they decided is to go ahead and roll the team over. So even though there's no us open, there really is essentially no need for AWA tryout event because they are going to be rolling over the past teams.

So, so yeah, I am actually planning to do the U S open by video. They are saying that if you are going to do it in a facility, other than your own, like you're going to do it in a club facility, you do have to seek approval. So you can't just, you know, open up your club and have 20 people coming in unless you get approval.

And then they have some questions for you on that regard and even groups of four or more need to be notified to them. So I think they're really doing a great job, even virtually of trying to make people be conscious, be safe. So groups of four more, even if you're just in your backyard, need to be notified to UKI in any facilities that are going to open it up and allow to be offered the,

they actually will need approval by UKI. So even virtually they're trying to, you know, be proactive and do what they can, which I think is great. Yeah. We have a podcast with Greg when they first opened up agility by video, where you could earn titles in UKI. And this was, I don't know, like in April or may or something like that,

I'll put a link to that in the show notes, but I feel like they are really led the charge on the virtual aspect Of dog agility competition. USDA also came behind and started adding virtual competitions that you could do for titling as well. And, and I think that that's a really, really great option for a lot of people, I think is really cool what they've done.

And people have been really excited to run these open events because they've got some big name judges doing the designing of the courses, a lot of interesting courses, a little bit smaller spaces. So it's more accessible to more people. And as, as dinner, it is, it is basically a standalone event this year, as opposed to it being the gateway to O so it's,

it's just the one event itself, which I think gives them some flexibility, because if it's, if it had the team associated with it, I don't know that they could do some of the things that are doing, for instance, your rank against other people is based on your own wheeling of your course and your yards per second, based on exactly how you set it up.

And of course that can't be exactly the same from person to person. And, you know, we know that slight changes at angles can affect how something runs. And so I think that having it be its own standalone event, where everybody kind of understands the fudge factor, the wiggle room of, of how it's going to be run. And everybody agrees to that is a really great compromise.

So I think that's really cool. And they, the, the Canadian open has already happened, I believe a couple of weeks ago maybe. And a lot of people did that and had really enjoyed that. And the courses that they, Yeah, I think that's great. I think they're doing it the right way. I really like that. Great idea.

So us opened by video for people who are interested in that, we'll put a link to that in the show notes page. Yeah. It's also still open. So those of you that are listening to it real recent from this podcast being posted, it is still open. So, you know, We have day of entries, like, no, not for this one.

Yeah. UKI lives and dies. But for this one, you do have to sign up in advance, but the registration is still open. So if anybody's thinking about it, give it a go. Okay. All right. Next one I want to talk about is the European open. So normally that's an event held in the summer. Obviously this past summer was canceled and obviously next summer,

we can know that they're going to have it. A lot of people are assuming, Hey, we're going to get a vaccine. It's going to be great. It's not that simple. So I'm going to give you the very quick medical side. And the medical side is, it's not that simple, right? So first we need a vaccine. We need to make sure it's safe.

And then we need to make sure that everybody gets it. Well, guess what, already, at least here in the United States, there are a lot of people who are saying, we don't want to take the vaccine, or we don't want to take the first version of the vaccine. Let's let other people take it. Right. I'm a little bit in camp.

I don't know that I want to be taking the very first vaccine that comes out. There's issues of production, distribution, all of those things. Right? And so we're looking at March, April at the earliest, right? Widespread getting it out there. How are you going to run this event as early as July? I think there's a very strong possibility,

especially if over this next winter, this fall winter, a million people die in Europe. Think about it. A million people die in Europe. Are you really holding the U S or not the U S the European open in July? I think it's very realistic that it will be canceled, however, okay. Let's all be very optimistic, right? Vaccines come out.

They come out a little bit earlier. Maybe January, February, they're highly effective. They're really good. Lots of people take it Europe. They really tamped down on it. You know, they have a very successful winner. And so, and spring is going great. And so they say, you know what, we're going to hold the event during the summer.

Okay. And Hey, we might even let some Americans come if they can get their act together on the other side of the ocean. So from our perspective, they're like, okay, well maybe we should have a TRIBE. Okay. So that's a long intro to say, we're having a tryout. So Jen, tell us what you know about the European open tryout for Americans.

So the European open is typically held in November. I'm sorry. The European open tryouts is typically held in November. And the European open for this year was canceled back in may. A lot of the people that were on the team are people who go to trial, sat around going, are they going to hold an event in November? Are they going to have trouts in November?

And it was recently announced that they are not one of the reasons that they hold it in November for an event that's not till July. Cause that's a really long gap is that traveling to Europe in the summer can be very expensive and very difficult. And they want to give them the team members a long time to plan their travel. So they went ahead and canceled November and they pushed it back to April.

So they pushed it quite a bit. And it wasn't like they pushed it six weeks. So that EO tryouts is actually going to be in April. And the plus side is, is exactly that. It gives us this time to see how things progress to see how the winter goes. I also think it gives AKC time to see if the event is actually going to be held in Europe,

because there's no reason for us to have a tryout. If the event isn't going to be held, the downside is if things do go smoothly, you are talking a pretty quick turnover for a team that is, you know, to try it out in April. Maybe the team's not advance announced until may. And then we have to turn around and try to get over there in July.

But I definitely think it was the right decision, you know, to push it back a little bit. So the E O tryouts is actually pushed back to April as of now. Right? Right. And we just can't know what the FCI is going to do about that competition. If they're going to decrease team sizes, that could be something that they consider.

Normally the EO is very, very big agiley world championship, three Heights for dyes, each team of 12. Right. Plus I could even see them eliminate relay and team because there's a Baton exchange. And there's, I guess there's not a Baton, but there's an exchange. So maybe they'll do a smaller based event individual only, you know, as opposed to no team.

So I think there's, yeah, like you said, there's a lot of factors. We got to ride on the FCI and that's why I, I think it makes sense for AKC to push the event back to April. So we have more information by the time of tryouts. Yeah. I definitely applaud this decision in April might even be late enough where end of March or early April FCI sits down and says,

you know what, we're looking at the numbers and we're going to go ahead and cancel this. You know, it requires a lot of planning and they already know at that point, it's not going to happen. Then we don't even have to bother with tryouts obviously here, you know, as, as you pointed out. So I do like that as far as strategic planning and it really helps with the competitors.

Okay. Next thing we want to talk about. Oh, and, and European open, I'll say it's outdoors. So Joey world championship indoors, European open is outdoors. So we'll talk a little bit about indoors versus outdoors. That's something that we've learned over the past several months, dealing with COVID while I'll just say, right now it's better to be outdoors.

Right. Get outdoors people. So if you have a class and this is a small indoor facility with a low ceiling, right. You have basically the air recirculating in there. And if anyone happens to be sick, but they don't know it. Right. They're just going to be pumping out the viral particles right there. And the, the virus and out in the open that largely gets carried away.

And so this has been validated quite strongly in many, many studies over these past several months. And so almost all of the outbreaks are based on indoor facilities, right? Assuming you have proper distancing and all that stuff. Obviously, if you're going to be in very close cramp quarters, say at the domination of Supreme court justice, without mass in seats,

cramped next to each other, that doesn't apply even though it's outdoors. Right. And so agility, I think naturally lends itself to having space. Obviously there are choke points where people are gonna be close together when you were about to go into the rain, things like that, but you can space those things out and really dramatically decrease the risk. So outdoors versus indoors always consider that when you're thinking about what local trials you would like to attend outdoors is going to be better.

Okay. Next one. I said, let's do let's finish with Westminster. So let's talk about the AKC invitational. Okay. And, and actually I'm going to take a break here to say something that we probably should have said at the very beginning of the podcast now that I think about it, but there may be listeners who do not realize that you are a medical Doctor.

So just The reason why we, Jennifer and I let us take the reins on all things. Medical is because he is actually a, a physician. And then for those of you who do know that he's a physician, it's also important to know that he is not giving you medical advice, merely giving you a lay of the land, as far as how things are going.

COVID wise, he is not your doctor. And he hasn't seen you. So he's not treating you specifically. All right. So now that we got that out of the way, the AKC invitational, this is, I guess I would consider this the first major event happening in the COVID era, the first major event that did not get canceled. The first major event that as far as we know is going forward,

and this event happens every year in December. The timeline for this event did not change this year. It is happening in Florida. It is indoors. It is in conjunction with a very large confirmation show. And I believe also obedience. Yeah. Jennifer's nodding her head. So, but what is different about this trial is that they are putting many, many restrictions in place,

kind of inline with how we're seeing local trials run, meaning limiting the number of people inside requiring that masks must be worn at all times, including running in the ring. So no, it no exemption for the actual person running. There will be no spectators. There will be no seating ringside there you're expected to come run and, you know, go check temperature checks at the door.

So they are, are attempting to run a big event in as safe, a way as possible. And so I kind of think back to, but the timing isn't great, right? Because now we're, we're hitting this big spike in cases. No, no. There's a couple of strikes against this event. And I think here, I want to make very,

very clear that, you know, we're covering all of this because it's it's dog agility. Right. So what we do, we cover all the things to agility. I don't think the event should be run okay. That's from my physician standpoint, I, I, I train and family. My residency was in family and community medicine and Baylor college of medicine here in Houston,

Texas. And then I worked in wound care for a long time nursing homes and whatnot. So getting back to the, the event, you know, there's a couple of strikes against it, obviously one indoor facility, although it's quite large. So I said like low ceiling, right? I made the decision between low and high ceilings. So air circulation matters.

It matters a lot. Right. And we don't have great data or large data points on like convention centers and hotels and, and the kind of venue that this is going to be in. Right. We can point to one spot that we know cross. Right. So cross happened at a convention center, very similar to Florida in March the very week that we put out that podcast,

I think. Right, right. And there were probably likely cases related to that event, but they had no, no contact tracing. The UK did very, very poor job. And so we don't have the information that we would want from that event. I assume that there were cases that you can trace back to that event, but that event was packing in tens of thousands of people in a very small case,

no mass, no social distancing. And here we have no spectators, a hundred percent mask, right. As you mentioned in the ring, which in my opinion, going to say this right now should be the gold standard for all agility trials. Okay. And I make no apology for people who, for whatever reason, medical or otherwise cannot wear a mask while they run.

Right. Then in, in my view, if I'm certainly running the trial and I feel like, you know, you want to have dog agility trials, that that's a, that's a rule. You know, it just is, and the IQC is doing that. They've also added the temperature checks. That's going to be daily. So you might spike a fever on day two,

guess what you're out. Right. And so those are some of the measures that were taken in countries like South Korea, where they were temperature, checking people, food delivery, people, right. How to get temperature checks before they could do that. And they knew exactly which delivery person delivered, which food to which person so that if one person got sick,

they could immediately trace it back to that delivery person and then go out and test each of the person that that person had delivered to like, that's the kind of, of tight networking and contact tracing they were doing in that country. And the success of it is indisputable. Right. So it's good that the AKC is taking measures like this and adding this in,

you know, it's not just for show like these things matter, you are going to catch cases. Right. Okay. So strike one indoors. But we, we just talked a little bit about that. Strike two is it's in Florida. And so I think that's something that's really important. I mentioned something earlier called mobility data, and guess what everybody lies about how often they travel and who they've been around and do they go to their grandparents' house?

And they're like, I've been locked up in my house, except for the time I went to the restaurant and the bar for Mary's birthday. And we had six people there, but they were also all locked down. So it's all good. Okay. No, no, no, no, no. The cell phone data simply looks at the amount of distance that your phones have traveled.

Okay. Don't go nowhere. Without our phones, everybody takes their phones with them. The data is very reliable. It's impervious to lying. Okay. And so what we see is here in the United States, unfortunately, something that I predicted months and months ago, and when the virus basically, when, when it started, it hit high density population areas,

right? Where there was a lot of air travel connections to China. So we had one case start on the East coast, one start on the West coast. And they were trying to figure out who got it first, whatever starts with large cities, lots of people, close area and spreads easily. These tend to be politically leaning Democrat, right? Big cities here in the United States.

Our big tend to lean Democrat. Politically are smaller towns, rural sparsely populated areas tend to lean Republican. Okay. And so 60 to 70% of cases were in democratic controlled places. Now, six months later, what has happened 70%, it's a complete flip. Okay. And it has to do with, unfortunately in the United States politics and people willing to take certain measures,

the largest one being mass. And that's the one everyone talks about, right? Mass, mass, mass, mass, we're going to fight about our mess, but what about fighting about travel? Right? Mobility getting around, going to the store, not just on vacation, we're talking about just any kind of travel, right? So they're, they're able to check the phones and what you see in the United States before this starts,

you know, you have some baseline of travel and then nationwide a 55% decrease in travel nationwide. And this is like back in March, March, April, every state has it. So when you look at all the state data, it's the same everywhere. 50% in April decrease, right? In Texas, 50%, California, 55%, Florida, 55%,

New York, 65%. But they were extra special, right? Because they got hit super hard, so extra special in a bad way, less likely to travel. And so the differences happen six months later, right? When and how quickly people started to travel again. So for example, if we look at it in June, as a nation, the reduction was only 20%.

So lots of people had resumed moving around, going to work, going out to stores, Texas 20%, which again, that's the national average. This is in June, now, June. So they went from 50% decrease. Now they're back up to only a 20% decrease. New York though. Stay locked down more. So 40%, California, 38% Florida kind of in the middle 30%.

Now what happens to today? Like literally like you're looking at mobile cell phone data for the last week, Texas, still not back to normal, 12% nationally, 15% nationally, 15%. So hang on. New York is still at 24%, still traveling less than Texans, California at 27% Florida, 18%, Hawaii, 35%. Right. And Hawaii, for those of you who don't know has been democratic its entire existence,

Democrat, lean, lean blue, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Montana is on the positive side, which means they are moving around now more than before the pandemic started. And so it's no coincidence. The cases are spiking in the country. Countries, States are worse than others. So there's some tie in here to travel and mobility. And that is something we're kind of not talking about in dog Jovi.

Right. We're having our Facebook fights and arguments with friends and colleagues over mask wearing right? To me that that's a, that battle is over. Okay. The science is out mass wearing works. I'm shocked that it works as well as it did. I'll tell, I'll tell you quite frankly, you know, I'm like, man, you know, people are putting some garbage stuff on their face.

Like how's this going to really work? And yet the data shows that it has now, whether it's from the actual mask themselves or when you see a person with a mask, you tend to stay away from them. I don't know. Right. They need better studies, but we know that it has had a tremendous impact, not just in this country,

but in other countries. Right. And so do we want to be traveling around and in these States that have these kinds of numbers and so Florida is not the worst state, but it's certainly not doing well. And you're having the event there. The U S open, as Jen pointed out, was canceled. It was supposed to be held there in Florida.

And so now the AKC is having this indoor trial in the state of Florida or Florida. And I assure you that by the time December rolls around, we are going to be back on track for over a thousand deaths a day. Okay. Just science people are like, if you want to ask me, well, how do you know? I know the same way I knew on the day we did this podcast and got out paper and pen and graph paper.

And on that day we had 319 cases and 15 dead. And we accurately predicted how many people would be infected and die in a month and two months and three months. Right. So we have, and we have much more data now than we did then. Right? So look, things are going to get worse. I think there's an outside chance.

The invitation gets canceled. Okay. I'm just gonna put that out there. So just like we had talked about before in our last podcast related to this, not, not in March, the followup one that we did, we're turning on trials right now. You need to look at your own individual risk factors on whether or not you're gonna go to this event.

I know that there are people listening to this that are still debating, deciding, okay. And yes, AKC is doing everything possible, but it is no guarantee of your safety. Certainly some people are more risk averse than others. If you are young and you're healthy, your chance of getting sick is slim. Your chance of dying is even slimmer. Okay.

Even if you are not that well, and you are old and you have COPD and you smoke and you got all these problems, your chance of getting infected are also still relatively small. Okay. And your chance of dying is also relatively small. Okay. But it is what we call non zero. Okay. And we know that over these past several months,

people in the Julian community have gotten coronavirus and died. Okay. So if there's anyone who's listening who didn't know that, okay. Multiple people have gotten the virus, multiple people have died. Okay. And, and the ones that we're not hearing about are the people who got sick from a Giulia people right. And died. But since they are themselves,

not in dog sports or agility, no one knows about, okay. And that is the real insidious danger of the coronavirus. Okay. Having said all of that now, invitational, they're doing everything that they can, they have a COVID-19 declaration form. They're probably going to ask you, you know, where you've traveled. We've been around sick people and things like that.

Obviously be honest, if you are sick, I understand you've worked hard. It's very hard to get into this competition, et cetera, et cetera. Top five of each breed probably spent a lot of money traveling to get there, stay home. Okay. I certainly don't believe that it's worth someone else's life for you to be able to compete at this event.

Okay. So we're just going to put that out there. Okay. I guess related to that, we should say that for people who are going, and actually the majority of people who sign up for this course, don't go to the invitational. They're just using it for general dog training, preparing for local trials. We do have the AKC invitational prep course,

which is out, just started. Can people know that they not, not register. It is closed now then for the people who've registered, we are going through exercises. And one of the things that we do want people doing is practicing with the Rascals. Yes. So yeah. Okay. That is exactly why I mentioned, I did not realize that it was closed,

but that makes sense. Now that already started, I started seeing the videos coming in. Okay. That makes a lot of sense. Okay. So should you be practicing with the mask? I think, yes. You should definitely do it. We're all doing it. You know, I've been doing it cause I've been wearing massive AKC nationals, you know,

for the dirt the past several years. So I made sure it gets, you had exposure to that. Jennifer, have you been running with mass? I know the answer because I've seen, I seen it on the internet, like your photos and things, but what are you doing as far as like mass specific training with dogs? So in my facility,

if I am in the facility with anybody else, I'm wearing a mask, not necessarily because I'm practicing for the dogs. I feel like I did that back in March and April. And we're pretty comfortable. The only time I will run without a mask is if I'm there by myself and training on my own, I haven't been doing a lot of trials,

but maybe what you've seen is I've been doing some confirmation and all the ones that I've gone to have been masks 100% of the time. So my dogs are definitely getting used to it, being in the ring, being around people. I mean, in confirmation it's even crazier because they come up to you on a table and they're doing an exam on the dogs.

So they're looking at, you know, another person, a stranger in a mass going over the dog. And I did have one dog that was a little unsure of the person approaching them in a mask. So we actually have been doing a little bit of practicing on that. But yeah, I would say at this point, you know, we're talking March to now,

October, I've been doing a lot of mask running and the dogs are getting re very well adjusted to it. Very used to it. Yeah. I think a lot of the adjustment is more so on the humans part. Yeah. Right. Just the discomfort of it. One thing I'll point out in with the mass, I think it's happened to everyone that talk with about it.

They feel like they can't catch their breath and they want to rip the mask off. But when you think about it, let me have you like run for hard for 30 seconds without a mask. And you'll also feel the same way your chest hurts and then you can't get enough air and you're just sucking in all there. You know? And so there's,

to me, there's very little difference. You know, there's a huge psychological component obviously, but unless you have an actual medical physiological issue where you can't oxygenate properly, then you're going to be fine. Right. Exercising, running around with a mask. Okay. The last thing we're going to talk about is Westminster. So Sarah, you got the information Kind of kicked it all off where we thought let's use this opportunity to give an update.

And that is a beautiful video you guys need to watch. Yeah. It's pretty cool. Like drone footage. So Westminster announced today as of of taping we're taping on October 21st and they just announced that they are postponing. Well, not postponing, they're moving the date of Westminster to June. So normally it's February, every year in New York, inside in a very small space.

And it is sold out everywhere with people right in the middle of like, you know, New York, New York, New York, and they are moving it to June. So that, so, you know, much further into the year, as you said, there is potential that we have vaccines before June, which would be amazing, but it is going to be at a,

some sort of huge property. It looks like a castle. I'm not from New York, so I'm not familiar with this place, but it's called Lyndhurst. The national trust for historic preservation in Tarrytown, New York. Did I say that correctly? Yep. And so the masters agility championship will be on Friday, June 11th. And then they will have the masters obedience championship on the 12th and best in show will be on June 12th and 13th.

So moving the whole event to a place where they can have social distance and they still know what all precautions they will need to take, but this gives them a lot of flexibility, both in timing and in location. So for those of you who have entered in the past, this is about the time of year, like October, November, where the premium comes out,

that is not coming out they'll they will wait a few more months, get a little bit more data. They just announced the change in the venue and the date. And we can look for that premium sometime early next year. So Jen, you and I have run this event. We have both running the finals, been on TV, et cetera, et cetera,

with all the people. I think it's sad to be losing the crowd, very sad to lose the crowd, but I'm very hopeful for this event. What are your thoughts? Well, my first thought is this, this means a huge change for the run itself because we're now outdoors on grass. That is a huge factor and a huge consideration. I know for me personally,

you know, pink, Pink's relatively young. We don't have outside agility in Ohio. She doesn't have much experience running outside. So I'm a little bit concerned about thinking ahead to what that's gonna mean for my dogs. And am I going to see more Mo more knocked bars? Am I going to need to go train outside? What happens if it rains?

What happens if the grass is wet? So my immediate brain goes to, Oh my gosh, outdoor agility. Those of you in Texas probably are not even batting an eye at or Florida or California. But for me I'm like, Oh my God, outdoor agility. We're doing get our nice level turf that we're used to, although I'm sure they'll have very groomed grounds,

you know? So who knows what they'll do attending and crating and what if the bad weather, but I definitely like to push back to June. It gives more time for us to kind of figure out where things are tracking and how things are going, you know, indefinitely, better chance of, of good weather. We couldn't be outdoors in February a certain way.

So no, I think it'll be, it'll be exciting. I mean, I think every time you have a new event, right? Think of the premiere cup and how exciting that was. Cause it was a new event or the very first couple of years of Westminster, we were all excited. I mean, already people that have been, Oh, Westman search,

just another show are already sharing the posts on Facebook. Like, Ooh, did you guys see this? You know, it's at this estate. And so I think it'll be certainly interesting and exciting to see how things go. When will we have time to see what they're going to do from a precaution standpoint and how they're going to handle things with, like you said,

spectators, and are they going to increase the entry? Are they going to decrease the entry? You know, something, Oh, well you're outside. You know, you could have a third ring or because see, that was one of the big limitations with tears. You could only do two rings. So will you do a third ring? Are you going to have,

you know, the meet the breeds, are you going to keep it the two drinks or maybe even make it less runs and less people? So there's a lot of questions that are kind of exciting to what they will announce, but all in all, I think it is absolutely a good decision at this point to go ahead and push back. But that does give me even more time on my timeline for the fall.

As we've kind of recapped these events was a us open early November and that guy canceled tryouts late November that got postponed. I usually go to the invitational, but don't compete. And so therefore I'm not going this year. February is Westminster. So for me right now in October, the first event that I was looking at, you know, being hopeful would come back is Westminster.

And then we get word today that it's pushed back. So now I'm looking at late March healthily, AKC nationals. We'll have some announcements coming out soon. You know what they're gonna do, but yeah, certainly kind of trailing our coronavirus into 2021. I think everybody thought, Oh, I can't wait for 2020 to be over. But the reality of it is January 1st.

We're not going to wake up and see some, you know, drastically different world. So I like people looking ahead. And I think as an exhibitor, the more notice I have about something, the happier I am, so I can kind of plan out my training. So I'm very happy with Westminster's decision. Yeah. I like how they basically went the route of a UKI here.

Instead, we're going to push this event off. They pushed it very, very far off, like into the summer giving, giving us time. I think there's a little bit of carrot and stick here too, right there. Like we're delaying the event, but look at this place that we're going to have it and all of you know, and everybody's all excited,

The video, like you guys need to see this video, Sarah put a link to it and it's gorgeous. I'm like, Ooh, counsel, I know I want to be a part of that, but there's also some feeling of the loss of, of our national events and AKC, USDA, all this stuff. And so maybe people who had not previously considered that,

they want to go there, might think about it this time, you know? And so I think that'd would be great. So yeah, just reminder Westminster the, for the finals, they like breed diversity, right? So your chances are a little bit better if you have these other breeds, non traditional breeds, I'll call it that. And so,

you know, I wanna encourage you guys to really consider it. And I think that you're going to be in a state where people are handling the pandemic. I think probably a little bit better, a little more seriously Westminster, obviously being very serious about it, but outdoors, right? Everybody's going to have mass and all and all of that. And even,

even here, they acknowledge a couple of things. They say, you know, due to the ever-changing government restrictions during the pandemic, a move to a springtime outdoor dog show was necessary to uphold Westminster strong commitment to the health and safety of everyone who attends our show. And so, you know, to me, it sounds like they are very much committed to a safety there.

So it'll be very interesting to see how that shakes out. All right. I think we've covered all the ground that I had hoped that we were going to cover it. I think we did it fairly in depth. If you guys have any questions, definitely follow up, send us an email at what's the email that we use for everybody. T T a M at bad dog,

agility.com. Feel free to ask all your questions. You know, obviously we'd be getting tons of questions over the past several months. I'm happy to answer everything as best I can or refer you to someone who can help you with your questions. The thought that I want to close on is I think at this point, we all kind of have a strong sense of what is helpful in the pandemic and what is not as helpful.

I want to start preparing everyone as Jen pointed out, you know, everybody thought, Hey, you know, let's just get through the summer. We're going to be okay. No, it's going to go a little longer than that, but I want to prepare everyone that the vaccines may not be the end all be all at least not right away. Okay.

They're going to be a lot of issues around the vaccines. I expect issues to extend throughout 2021 and into 2022. Okay. I hope that that is not the case. I think there's a chance that it won't be the case. All right. But I would prepare yourself mentally for that. The other thing is that mass use them. And in my opinion,

and doggy Jody, they should be mandatory for everyone at an agility trial, including the person running the dog. And for people who are very concerned about safety and wellbeing of others. And you know, they're always going to wear a mask. I think that there, that people like that, which includes me. So people like me might get very focused on people who refuse to wear masks for a variety of reasons.

People refuse to wear a mask, but a lot of it is political. And these dissenters, if we, if you want to call them dissenters, can, can really be the focus of, you know, your behavior. Like you're gonna actively work to not be around them or not going to trials where they're at and things like that. But remember that the majority of people who are transmitting the virus are asymptomatic,

right? And so you have less to fear from someone that you're going to come in contact with for a very brief amount of time. And they're probably going to be forced to have mass wherever you're meeting them in a grocery store at a doctor's office, certainly. And at an agility trial where mastery are largely required mandatory. It is your family member. When you're going to be at a,

at a gathering that you, you know, you don't live with, especially now we're talking about the holidays is what is what I'm leading into here, Thanksgiving and all these things. You're going to get people together. Someone's going to have it. You're not going to know you're going to be around them for a day or two or three, and then it's going to spread.

They're going to be problems. Okay. So I understand your frustration with the people who refuse to wear a mask, look to your own networks, your own social networks, make sure that you are protecting yourself, make sure that you are making good decisions. Made sure you're thinking about it a lot during this holiday season, the data, which is going to be cases and deaths over the next several weeks,

I think are going to inform a lot of your decision-making with respect to Thanksgiving, Christmas plans. There's a really big holidays here in the United States. Lots of traditionally, lots of travel, lots of social interaction, lots of indoor stuff. As the weather gets cold and drives people together. So, you know, that's just a, that's just a fire during gasoline on a fire.

So just everybody keep that in mind. Let's stay focused. There's a lot of things we need to do about the virus. It's not just all about the mess. Alright, well, that's it for this week's podcast. We'd like to thank our sponsor. Hit a board.com happy training.

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