Hamvention vs Coronavirus

As I watch the news and as a side note, I am getting very worn on hearing every detail they can pick at regarding COVID-19 anyway......Hamvention is not that far off considering all the advance planning that has to be done. As you know this is one of the largest gatherings of Amateur radio ops, SWL's and those just interested in radio communications. It is the grandstand for manufactures to release new and newly improved radio gear.  This gathering is the Meca within the radio world as we all at one time or another want to make our way to this event! On March 3rd a press release from the organizers of Hamvention was released.  Has COVID-19 changed your Hamvention plans? Now in the Hamvention press release, it said the following:

From Greene County Public Health:
There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio. Greene County Public Health (GCPH) is working closely with the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and are prepared to respond, should there be a community spread of COVID-19.  The current risk to the general public is very low. Travel advisories are in effect and can change anytime, so please see the CDC Travel Advisory webpage before travelling:
From my perspective, I am not to comforted to know that to date (as of March 3rd) there have been no confirmed COVID-19 cases. Hamvention is just not made of those from Ohio but worldwide. The demographics of our hobby are not spring chickens, COVID-19 and an elderly populous gathering do not mix well. I am guessing by now my readers understand my direction for attending Hamvention this year.....BUT does it have to be cancelled or can it be possibly rescheduled? It would be nice if Hamvention had a plan "B".



Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

30 Responses to “Hamvention vs Coronavirus”

  • john KI6IY:

    a plan B would seem like a good idea. a lot of folks will have to make many changes in travel plans. better safe than sorry. we have a planned trip to Maui but are considering canceling. until some real and reliable info on the virus comes out i am hesitant to fly anywhere. being a few months shy of 69 makes one cautious.

  • Bill KI7HYI:

    The only thing that COVID-19 should be driving is people towards a more competent nurturing of their personal immune systems to be able to handle any pathogen that comes their way.

  • James KG5RFI:

    This particular new virus has been ridiculously over-hyped by the media and a certain political party. While it appears to be more contagious than other viruses, it is certainly not more deadly than the common flu. the fear mongering is out of control.

    There is a 67 year old gentleman in quarantine at the Univ of Nebraska who has Guillain-Barré syndrome who had a fever spike and dry cough, that’s all.

    If life goes on as normal when our neighbors and coworkers get the flu, then there is literally no reason it shouldn’t go on due to Covid-19.

    We all just need to continue on with normal life and as was alluded to by KI7HYI pay attention to our hygiene. Society is in greater danger from panic than this new virus.

  • Mike ve9kk:

    Good evening John and thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, yes for sure a plan B is a good idea even if it’s to cancel the event. This way those who only have a limited window to cancel and get a refund can do so.
    73,
    Mike
    VE9KK

  • Mike ve9kk:

    Hello Bill and very nice to hear from you and your input, it’s very true the better we look after ourselves the better our body can take on viruses that linger around us. Eating right, getting your sleep and supplements are very important, to which subscribe too and it really does make a differance.
    73,
    Mike
    VE9KK

  • Mike ve9kk:

    Good evening James and welcome to the hobby I was doing a read through of your QRZ.COM page, I too have often said to my wife that it’s just a flue bug but as you said I agree it seems very contagious. For the very reason that it is so contagious unfortunately brings with it the vulnerable are more at risk. The higher panic I see is commerce and how they see this is going to cost them money! Employees off work, production down, sales drop due to media hype and bottom line loosing money.
    Thanks for your input James and again welcome to the hobby.
    73,
    Mike
    VE9KK

  • Ron KA3PSO:

    I attend Four Days in May, the QRPARCI event and also the hamfest. I have already registered for FDIM and have my motel reservation. At this point, I do not intend to change my plans. I will drive up from Florida, taking 3 days each way so as not to overexert myself. I will not fly because planes are air-born petri dishes. I will probably avoid the hamfest on Saturday, and attend on Friday and Sunday. FWIW, I am a 78 year old, type 2 diabetic.

  • John Beall KA3USB:

    Greetings,

    From what I have heard is that when Viruses are subjected to Warm and Humid Weather they tend to Die ! This is from the CDC and other Government Doctors working on this particular Virus! So if the weather in that part of Ohio is warm and Humid. There should be no problem with the Hamvention !73’sg

  • Lawrence N0UU:

    Big question is: Is there to be an AMSAT/TAPR banquet?

  • Bill Mader, K8TE:

    Coincidentally, the IDXC in Visalia was just cancelled. It likely has a even older demographic than HamVention and similar events. The return to its previous venue did not sit well with many.

    The hot and humid weather idea is just supposition with not basis in fact for COVID-19 at this writing. Ham radio operators often seem adverse to researching rumors and often ignore science in technical matters. This is both amusing and sad since ours is an avocation based on science.

    My plans for HamVention and Ham-Com remain in place. However, I have cancelled plans for attending Friedrichshafen. 73, Bill, K8TE

  • Schilling:

    “. . . nurturing of their personal immune systems to be able to handle any pathogen . . . over-hyped . . . Eating right, getting your sleep and supplements . . .”

    Good luck!

  • Mike ve9kk:

    Good morning Ron, I too think it’s a wise idea to avoid flying at this time with being in a confined space and the recirculated air can’t be a good thing. You sound very active with your attendance to all these events. Have safe and relaxing drive from Florida.
    73,
    Mike

  • Mike ve9kk:

    Good morning John and thanks for stopping by the blog and taking time to give it a read, I was always under the impression that it was the colder weather that killed off the viruses…….but maybe Corona is a different animal? Either way lets hope that by the time HamVention comes around all this Corona thing will be sorted out.
    73 and have a great rest of the week John.
    Mike
    VE9KK

  • Mike ve9kk:

    Good morning Lawrence as for this event only time will tell eh?
    73,
    Mike
    VE9KK

  • Mike ve9kk:

    Good morning Bill and thanks for the comment, I was reading your QRZ.COM page and very impressive resume of radio activities along with racing cars. We are about an hour from PEI and were there just this past summer I hope you enjoyed your stay there. From your comment on the blog you are very well travelled regarding ham gatherings. Thanks for all your service in the various radio organizations and events Bill.
    73 and have a good week.
    Mike
    VE9KK

  • Mike ve9kk:

    Good morning Schilling….Mr, Miss or Mrs not sure but anyway, thanks for your comment. Supplements are not all I subscribe too but for me a multi disciplinary approach works the best. But by no means am I saying this is a cure-all. It just for me anyway make sure my body is tuned as well as it can be.
    Thanks for stopping by and giving your input that’s what it’s all about.
    73,
    Mike
    VE9KK

  • Goody K3NG:

    Well it’s 2/13/20 and several states have shut down schools, colleges are suspending classes, states are prohibiting mass gatherings, most major sports have called off games, and travel from EU is going to be banned. But the Hamvention is still on.

    What’s wrong with this picture?

  • Jack KF7UDH:

    Response to Bill Mader, K8TE
    “Ham radio operators often seem adverse to researching rumors and often ignore science in technical matters.”

    Thanks for posting this; I was unaware of that until I began reading this column a few minutes ago. Based on the comments I’ve seen so far, you certainly are right about that.

    I won’t go into all the technicalities, but this pandemic is far worse than any cold or ordinary influenza. It will continue to get worse and worse for (possibly) as long as two or three years, because of delays,inaction,ignorance and misinformation on the part of the federal government.

    The website “moonofalabama.org” has a superb article and knowledgeable discussion on this matter. I urge anyone who thinks that this is not an extremely serious matter to go there and do some reading before you become a victim and/or a spreader.
    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/03/news-nugget-about-the-coronavirus-pandemic.html#more

  • Mike VE9KK:

    Good afternoon Goody and thanks for taking the time to visit the blog and add a comment. We have the same deal up here in Canada with everything shutting down but there are a few hold outs! I am not sure why HamVention has not come forward with a statement either way?
    Have a great weekend Goody.
    73,
    Mike
    VE9KK

  • Nolan K. KI5IO:

    It may be a moot point for many with inbound flights to the USA from EU and UK have now been halted.

    I’ve also read that there may also be some domestic (USA) air travel restrictions to some areas.

    This Covid-19 will run its course and soon the media will tire of their ‘sky is falling’ reporting.

    I’ve heard in detail this morning that industry (auto manufacturers, Apple, etc..) have been ramping up their facilities over the past week or so and all will be back in full production starting next Monday (March 16, 2020). They have been through the worst of it and now on a full-on recovery.

    We’ll be in that recovery mode soon as well.

    In the meantime … I’ve limited my (and my wife’s) personal exposure by keeping away from crowds and the like. I always wash my hands, but have doubled/tripled up on that now.

    I still get licks and nose-nuzzles from our two rescue dogs.

  • N2UN:

    As hams, shouldn’t supposed to be following the science on this? The science is clear with respect to how to avoid being infected and how to stop the spread:

    1. Wash your hands with soap and water for 20+ seconds. Frequently.
    2. Avoid large groups.
    3. Stay indoors as much as possible, especially if you’re sick.

    The above scientifically-based advice is even more critical for people 60+ and for those with other health issues. Statistically, most hams who attend Dayton fall into both of those categories. This is an international event that draws people from all over the country, and the stats don’t lie — people will come who are transmitting the virus, and many attendees will be infected.

    The science also tells us how long this will be an issue — it will continue for many weeks, well past the dates for Hamvention.

    Hamvention organizers need to drop their egos and cancel this event for the health and well-being of all hams.

  • Winston kd2ej:

    For those that think that is a as bad as the flu perhaps you can tell me when was the last time that school throught the world closed because of the flu, tell that to the Canadian Prime minister and To Tom
    Hanks and his wife. Get real this is a big problem. The best thing they can do is cancel the event your helth is more important then a Hamfest.

  • Mike Weir:

    Good evening Nolan very nice to hear from you, I imagine in time we will look back on this and for goodness’s sake hope those in power will have learned a valuable lesson from this. I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories but with how the world is reacting to this virus there has to be a little more to it than we the common folk are been shown.
    My wife and I are doing the same as you and that is taking the extra precautions.
    Have a great weekend Nolan…..what’s left of it.
    73,
    Mike
    VE9KK

  • Mike Weir:

    Good evening Mike, yes we as hams do subscribe to science and I agree regarding the preventive measures we can take. I just don’t understand HamVention and how silent they have been.
    73,
    Mike
    VE9KK

  • Mike Weir:

    Hello Winston and thanks for taking the time to share a comment, as I said in a previous comment I think there is just a bit more to this virus than we are being told…….I am hoping not and that it is just a very contagious bug. I have just never seen this the attention and actions taken with any other illness before.
    Lets hope it comes to an end soon.
    73,
    Mike
    VE9KK

  • VE3RX:

    For those comparing COVID-19 to the flu, you are incorrect. The mortality rate for most flu cases is well below 0.1%, some as even as low as 0.01%. COVID-19 has a mortality rate of between 2% to 3.4%, depending on which country you are in, and the response by the health organizations in those countries.
    While COVID-19 has similar symptoms to the flu, it is much more aggressive, especially for the lungs. Hence seniors and people with other medical conditions fall victim to this virus much easier. True, about 80% of the people who get this virus may show only mild symptoms, or none at all. Why, nobody knows yet.
    Anyway, back to Dayton, I probably won’t be going this year regardless, just not worth the risk, unless it all blows over by then (not likely). If the Hamvention stays open, you can be sure attendance will be way down, and I suspect the flea market will hardly be worth the visit.

  • Richard W7GXV / I1GXV:

    Hi Mike,

    It’s a while I have been following your always interesting blog, but I have never thought to send you a comment till yesterday, while reading the posts about the “Hamvention Vs Coronavirus” matter. I do think the guys of the event organization should decide about a plan “B” when still in time to avoid a stop at the last minute.
    Above all, I have jumped on my chair when reading KI7HYI and KG5RFI comments like “ virus has been ridiculously over-hyped ” ….: I read similar comments about 2 months ago in some newspaper in Italy from where I am writing you and maybe some of the writers so strong on considering this virus a standard flue have already died…. Corona virus is NOT a normal flue and it is not causing troubles similar to the ones of a normal flue. We as hams should all be based on technical concepts associated with numbers and numbers do not lie. If you have followed what has been happening here in Italy since a few weeks, mainly in the northern Milan area, the most industrialized and advanced area of this country and about 60 km from my QTH, you should know that the worse record was reached last week in Nembro, town of 11,000 inhabitants where in 12 days 70 people were SK due to Corona virus versus 120 total SK in all 2019…. The virus is still spreading almost in Northern Italy, but also other regions start to be affected. We all hope that actions taken by Government last week will help but the worse is still to come. The country has been almost completely stopped: all schools, Universities, public events etc. are all stopped and so all ham fests and exhibitions planned for this springtime. People must stay at home limiting at the minimum movements outside and so I and my family have been doing since last week. For what I watch every day, virus has not a political color at the contrary of somebody thinking but is very democratic as it is hitting rich people, poor people, politicians and above all, unfortunately, also medical persons engaged in this unexpected war. If I can suggest something to you and the readers of your blog, do not under-consider this problem and buy sets of suitable masks for you and your relatives, when the time comes you will not find them in enough quantity as it is happening here and, please, do not confuse good-sense with panic…

    Just the sole positive thing: much more spare time to enjoy HF….

    I wish all of you good luck

    Richard W7GXV / I1GXV on the air since 1975 when springs were only 16…

    For reference:
    https://bergamo.corriere.it/notizie/cronaca/20_marzo_14/coronavirus-bergamo-nembro-70-morti-12-giorni-120-tutto-2019-tragica-impennata-anche-citta-415537a0-6572-11ea-86da-7c7313c791fe_preview.shtml?reason=unauthenticated&cat=1&cid=U3hJ1BFn&pids=FR&credits=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fbergamo.corriere.it%2Fnotizie%2Fcronaca%2F20_marzo_14%2Fcoronavirus-bergamo-nembro-70-morti-12-giorni-120-tutto-2019-tragica-impennata-anche-citta-415537a0-6572-11ea-86da-7c7313c791fe.shtml

  • Mike Weir:

    Good afternoon Steve, thanks for the comment and yes this virus is particularly dangerous as it is very aggressive toward the respiratory system. Very wise move regarding HamVention and I bet those who do brave it and attend will be disappointed with the lacklustre turnout of vendors and hams.
    Have a nice day and upcoming week.
    73,
    Mike
    VE9KK

  • Mike Weir:

    Good evening Jack KF7UDH and sorry I missed your comment from March 14, it’s very true up this way Jack trying to get government moving along and taking this virus with a serous attitude. It was reported just the other day day in our airports no one and I mean NO ONE is asking departing passengers any questions. Even flights that were from hot spots regarding COVID 19. I was shocked and it was only when the media brought it to light that our federal government started to take action. It is nuts when those in power have to be shamed to get them moving. Makes me wonder if those in government take this seriously.
    Thanks very much for sharing Jack.
    73,
    Mike
    VE9KK

  • Mike Weir:

    Good evening Richard and greetings from Canada, first off thanks very much for taking the time to comment and being a follower of the blog…….please feel free to comment anytime it will be great to have your input. I watch the news and see how devastated Italy is because of the virus. Things there have come to a full stop and no one last year at this time would have ever thought this would happen anywhere. Thank goodness at the time of reading your post you are still in good health! This is a time for all to work together with helping one another and making sure those who are alone and those who are vulnerable are thought of and checked on via phone or internet. Richard here in Canada we have not even come close to how your area has been affected. We have not come to a full halt as yet with services but I imagine it is happening soon. Thank you for your well wishes and my prayers are with you, your family and those around you. Thanks goodness we have a hobby that can keep us busy at this time and can in any way help out with this global issue. Thanks again for taking the time to comment and again please feel free to drop more comments in the future.
    73 and stay well
    Mike
    VE9KK

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