4. Corona Virus

Will the Corona virus spread have any impact on Amateur Radio in general and ARES in particular? You bet your boots it will! While small, local hamfests may be unaffected, regional and larger fests will definitely be impacted.

Using Hamvention as an example, hundreds of hams and vendors from foreign nations may reconsider traveling here or even be prohibited from doing so by their government or ours. Hams from Washington state may still arrive in Xenia, but suppose one becomes ill during the weekend? It may be just a cold, but it may take days to confirm that. The Hamvention committee is watching developments closely according to their website.

Many hams come to Xenia for deals on new radios. Most of those radios are assembled in the Far East, and many parts suppliers there are temporarily closing. There may be very few radios available by the time Hamvention arrives.

On a personal note, for several decades I‘ve manned a Hamvention booth for an area radio club. But I also volunteer for a local medical reserve corps and an emergency management agency, so I may also be pulled in different directions in May.

Submitted by Michael Schulsinger, N8QHV