American Go E-Journal

Seattle Go Center Softly Reopens

Sunday June 20, 2021

After being closed for almost 15 months because of COVID-19 precautions, the Seattle Go Center has reopened on Tuesdays and Saturdays for in-person play. Only vaccinated players are invited, and masks are required at all times when people are indoors, except when sipping drinks. Food may only be eaten on the front roof deck, where masks are not required. All players are required to update their membership forms, and to acknowledge the new COVID precautions.

All the windows are kept open, which gives the large playing room good cross ventilation. “This works well in June, when we have mild weather, but we hope that the vaccination campaigns are successful, and the COVID risk is greatly reduced, so that we can close the windows by November”, Operations Manager Brian Allen notes.

The reopening was quietly publicized through the Seattle Go Center email list. Tuesdays have 16-20 players, and Saturdays 10-12. The current schedule can be found on the Go Center home page. Families are not coming yet, because young players cannot get vaccinated. For some adult players who do not play online, this was their first opportunity to play a game in more than a year. Another group recently learned the game online, and needed instruction on how to hold a stone, and to score a game when finished. “It was surprisingly hard to match faces known from Zoom sessions with the people with masks who showed up at the Go Center,” says Allen. “In general, there was less chatter than in the old days, because the masks make it harder to be understood, and the open windows let in street noise. Still, it was great to see old friends, and to make new ones.”

Report and photo by Brian Allen.