COVID-19 Preparedness: What Traditional Society Can Learn from The Goth Community (Article/Events)

[Author’s Note: While this particular article does not deal with the Black Lives Matter movement or the reprehensible killing of George Floyd–or the countless other Black people who’ve died at the hands of law enforcement in our country’s troubled history–our hearts at DGM go out to everyone involved in these protests!  We pray that this time would ignite the needed changes in the USA to start to remedy the evils this nation has done to the Black community for hundreds of years and to place agents of change to help break down and rebuild the flawed legal system that chose to bake systemic racism into this country’s DNA from its very inception.  If you want to learn more about what’s going on here, there are three resources I highly recommend: John Oliver’s video on the very flawed state of Police in America in 2020  and, to see how we got here, two different podcasts from Scene On Radio: Seeing White and  America: The Land That Never Has Been Yet . -JTH]

While most of the rest of society was taken completely off-guard by COVID-19, many in the Goth community have been prepping for a time like this for years.

To explain this to the outside world, let’s look at the most prevalent recommendations for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and see how the Goth community has instilled practices for these very things for decades.

  1. Wash your hands meticulously and for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Try to leave your house as little as possible.
  3. Order things online if at all possible.
  4. Refrain from all large gatherings.
  5. If you must leave your house, please allow 6 feet of social distancing from other people.
  6. Regardless of how you’re feeling, please wear a mask over your face when around other people.

So how has the Goth culture exemplified these practices? Let’s break it down.

We are all about the personal grooming.

We are all about the personal grooming. (Photo of Model Joslyn St. Syn.)

1. Besides the fact that many in our community are hyper-aware of germs (sometimes slanderously referred to as “OCD” just because they wish to take no chances with them), the average Goth beauty regimen requires a LOT of time meticulously caring for one’s body and cleanliness. (To the irritation of many non-Goth significant others.)

Why go outside when it can be beautiful inside?

Why go outside when it can be beautiful inside? (Photo of model Rocky Doll.)

2. Due to the high introvert quotient is the Goth community, we tend to be very willing to stay inside whenever possible.

I'm not saying we spend TOO much time ordering things on our phones, but some of us have actually been known to order our Starbucks coffee on our phones while sitting in Starbucks.

I’m not saying we spend TOO much time ordering things on our phones, but some of us have actually been known to order our Starbucks coffee on our phones while sitting in Starbucks. (Model Ariel Bryant featured, but she is not the one known for ordering Starbucks inside of Starbucks on her phone.)

3. As we spend a lot of time online, especially at Etsy, Wish, and other boutique shops, we are already in the habit of ordering things on the web.

Our get together's are intentionally spacious and non-claustrophobic.

Our get together’s are intentionally spacious and non-claustrophobic. (From Left to Right: Katey Rosewater, Raven Moonlight, and Modified Rabbit.)

4. Even when we have Goth get-togethers, they’re never very large, no matter how many people are invited.   We have an instinctive awareness that more than ten people at any outing is just too many people!

We've got social distancing down to a science.

We’ve got social distancing down to a science. (Featuring attendees to the Beautiful Nightmares 2 dance in Lexington, KY in 2017–three years before social distancing became cool in America!)

5. We are very happy to give plenty of personal space to other people, not just in the outside world, but even when we get together with other Goths. When we go to Goth dances, we subconsciously know to arrange ourselves in a grid with 6 feet between all participants and intentionally play music that isn’t going to encourage anyone to move closer to one another.

We've always known masks were dope as hell!

We’ve always known masks were dope as hell! (Featuring an attendee of Gen Con 2017 in Indianapolis.)

6. We in the Goth community have long since recognized how cool stylized gas & dust masks are, which is why so many Etsy and Fiverr merchants that specialized in Goth gear had a much quicker response when people around the world needed face masks.

While we may not have originated these practices in direct regards to this pandemic, they have always made sense in our community. Prior to this, many people in traditional society have thought we were weird and dangerous.   After this pandemic, however, we are the template for what society needs to do to stay safe.

To traditional society, for actively modeling your “new normal” for decades, we wish to say these words from Maui in Disney’s Moana: You’re Welcome.

Modern Goth is very accepting of newcomers, like the friendly tatted Maui sporting the new Island Goth style.

Modern Goth is very accepting of newcomers, like the friendly tatted Maui sporting the new Island Goth style. (Image used solely for press commentary purposes. Moana, copyright © 2016, Walt Disney Entertainment. All rights reserved. )

 

[Aside from the Maui artwork, all images are owned and taken by myself and/or my photography company, Goth Viking Photography.  Accurate identification information was provided whenever possible. Featured image is Joslyn St. Syn.  Banner art is a photo from 2011’s Gothicon in Cincinatti, OH, hosted by Graverobbers.]

Author: JT Hanke

J.T. Hanke is the founder and former editor of DarkestGoth Magazine. Stepping down as editor in 2019, he currently serves as its technical adviser and a contributing writer.

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