July 7, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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The regional chair faced criticism over the OctoberFest Twitter post; Alleged ignorance of health guidelines

The regional chair faced criticism over the OctoberFest Twitter post;  Alleged ignorance of health guidelines

Chair Karen Redman said the films failed to capture the Schwaben Club and that attendees would abide by public health guidelines.

Regional chairwoman Karen Redman addressed a weekend tweet today denouncing community members for not adhering to public health guidelines. Friday’s question from Chair Redman’s Twitter account showed him enjoying the OctoberFest Revelers keg-tapping event at the Schwaben Club in Kitchener. Images of party members in this post do not adhere to physical distance guidelines and some do not wear masks.

The deleted Twitter post was reposted by Chair Redman – with the message that the original post was “backwards (…) not the best policy”. In a follow-up tweet, Redman thanked the community for their feedback on the post and acknowledged that she had hurt “regretted people” for not appearing to be committed to public health. In an interview with 570 News, Redman stressed that attendees were keeping their bubbles.

“What the tweet caught on was that the Schwaben Club and the Concordia Club (…) are doing everything they can to adhere to public health guidelines …” said Chair Redman. “Everyone was waiting in the parking lot, going inside their bubble and sitting in their bubble, wearing their mask except when they were sitting at their table to eat and drink … none of that clearly came into the tweet”.

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When asked why the opening post on Saturday was deleted, Redman said she should keep her next message to show that she understands the concerns of the community about non-compliance with COVID-19 security measures. In a follow-up tweet, several online users praised her transparency in responding to the issue, but noted that some physical distance guides who attended the event observed it. Other users have criticized the lack of apology and see it as a double standard in following COVID security.

“All those people are in the same bubble …” Redman said. “Any image I posted… anything I noticed… people were glued to their bubbles. They are people who came together, ate together, and left together ”.

Redman said based on her experience over the weekend, KW has done a great job in taking charge of OctoberFest and providing a safe way for people to celebrate. She adds that local restaurants and German clubs are conscientious in reminding people of public health guidelines and rules to follow.

“The Schwaben Club had two sittings last night – we went from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm and we were all cleared so they could clean the restaurant for the next sitting,” Redman said. “I think it is the responsibility of the operator and the business to make sure the guidelines are adhered to, and I think the Schwaben Club did that last night.”

When asked about the challenges of celebrating October Fest in a COVID-19 environment, Redman acknowledged the “pandemic fatigue” experienced by many in the community. She said she is proud of how the community adheres to public health guidelines and its ongoing hopes for the future.

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“Everyone says we’re all on the same boat in this storm – and I’m not. We think we’re all on the same boat … but we’re all on different boats,” Redman said. ” Criticism is easy – I’m just trying to figure out where the solutions are. “