Are we currently offering in-person retreats? Not yet. Unfortunately, the strength of the Delta variant forces us to further delay working in person.
The Delta variant is many times stronger than the original virus. It spreads much faster and with far more viral load.
While vaccines help prevent hospitalization and death, the Delta can break through and spread even among the vaccinated. And an in-person retreat is the worst super-spreading venue imaginable. Why? See below.
So as this more threatening Delta pandemic rapidly spreads, we have to yet again put off working in person. But frankly, our virtual retreats have proven to be so effective and convenient that we will continue offering them even after the pandemic is over.
The belief that in-person retreats are better or more effective is not accurate. For the last year and a half, we have consistently seen that our virtual retreats are as good or better than meeting in person.
We have even heard from some clients that said our virtual retreats were more effective than if we had met in person! This certainly surprised us at first… but we finally understand it. Here’s why our virtual retreats are so effective →
Why Retreats Are the Worst Superspreaders
COVID-19 spreads through tiny droplets that are continually emitted by breathing or talking. This aerosol transmission spreads these suspended droplets throughout a room.
With every out breath, an infected person sprays out more and with every in breath everyone else in the room takes in more, regardless of social distance.
The probability of catching the virus is directly proportional to the length of time you’re exposed to it. It’s cumulative. With each breath, you take in more. Compounding this, each time the infected person breathes, more tiny droplets are sprayed out into the room to produce a denser accumulated cloud of virions.
Research studies show how the Delta variant can spread in less than 15 seconds from one person to another. The original virus was clocked at 15 minutes.
All things considered, what makes it certain that an in-person intensive retreat will spread COVID-19 is the length of time we’re in the room together, unmasked, talking, just breathing, and sharing the air.
Regardless of being vaccinated, there’s no way to know if any one of us is infected. Maybe you just got it traveling, dining out, or where you’re staying. Maybe we just picked it up from our previous clients.
In an indoor intensive retreat, we’re sharing the air in a room for eighteen hours. The math is straightforward. Everyone in the room will become infected if anyone is an asymptomatic carrier. Fancy ventilation won’t be certain to prevent transmission.
Masks could help keep us from spreading the virus if anyone is infected. But even the math of 18 hours puts that idea in doubt. The N95 mask is the strongest, and the 95 means that 5% gets through.
Anyway, wearing a mask during an in-person retreat is an oxymoron. It contradicts what a retreat is about and would prevent it from being effective.
Part of a retreat is about lowering one’s defenses and engaging in emotional reconnection. It’s about getting to be more your real selves with each other. That’s like “un-masking” if you will.
How to Check About In-Person Retreats?
Contact us if you would like more information. We are science-based and adhere to the healer’s oath: “And first do no harm…”
Meanwhile, know that the preconceived notion that “meeting in-person is better” is not accurate. Not for our Zoom work anyway. You may be burned out on Zoom meetings. But how we do it in our work is different from any meeting you’ve ever had.
For over a year now, we have consistently found that our Zoom retreats are at least as effective as meeting in person. And sometimes more so! Yes, many couples have told us their virtual retreats turned out to be even more effective than in-person would have been. See feedback from our virtual retreat clients.
As a pioneer of the intensive private marriage retreat format, we have been conducting retreats for over three decades. We have developed a best-in-class approach to working with couples. We know the field and we know the power of our approach. We can be as effective via Zoom as in person.