We are not currently offering in-person retreats. While we’d love to believe, as much as anyone, that things are turning around, we continue to wait and see.
There have been too many ups and downs of unexpected surges and yet more variants. And unfortunately an in-person retreat is a 100% guaranteed superspreader.
And even if we’re less worried about someone dying from the virus, there remains the unpredictable emergence of long covid which induces a potentially life-long disruption of a disease class similar to fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue or Lyme disease.
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 more than a year and a half now, we’ve consistently found our virtual retreats are as good as meeting in person. Some couples tell us our virtual retreats are more effective than working in person! That surprised us at first, but we finally came to understand why.
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 the virus if anyone is infected is the length of time we’re in the room together, unmasked, talking, just breathing, and sharing the air.
Regardless of being vaccinated, which itself is looking to have rapidly fading efficacy, 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.
To some extent, masks could help keep us from spreading the virus if anyone is infected. But think about it. Wearing a mask during an in-person retreat would only prevent the retreat program itself 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, we’d like to repeat that the preconceived notion that “meeting in-person is better” is not accurate. For over a year and a half, we have consistently found our Zoom retreats are at least as effective as meeting in person. And sometimes more so!
Many couples have told us their virtual retreats turned out to be even more effective than in-person would have been.
As a pioneer of the intensive private marriage retreat, 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.