This evening, at the end of the first day of the Chinese-virus National Emergency, once the tasks at hand settled down there is a few moments to reflect on ham radio.
Following the declaration of the National Emergency locally our Wisconsin Governor shut all schools for about a four week initial period, the nursing home my mother is in went to complete lock-down making the lunch we shared on Wednesday a special event, my work team looked to me for leadership in several ways, our college aged sons appeared – one to stay as his finishes his last degree coursework online and one to stock up and return to his apartment, we started reaching out to the elderly & fragile among our friends who lack family to help asking if they needed anything, and hours were spent preparing communications to employees.
We learned of the first of our friends in Europe coming down with the Covid-19 Chinese Virus. They are pretty sick by usual flu standards, but we’re hopeful they will be fine.
Calls were made to our Europe based elderlies, who admitted they have apartments in their complex under quarantine though whether the other folk have a regular flu or the Chinese Virus hasn’t been disclosed.
At a week shy of 90 years old and the other a few years younger they are at high risk if they come down with anything, and the virulent Chinese Virus will be lethal for them. The XYL was supposed to be with them this month, with my flying into England for a week to join in the 90th Birthday party, but we canceled at the start of Chinese Virus outbreak. That decision was easier for me to make as even with my decades old NBC training (Nuclear Biological Chemical) I was concerned enough to suggest a delay.
Given that the XYL would now be faced with returning to several weeks of quarantine while being very limited in providing any help to her parents I can truly say there was no good or right answer to be found to question whether to travel or not.
Coordination was worked out with the computer techs for the ten new laptop computers ordered to arrive early next week to update my work team’s ability to work away from the office.
And those communications the employees need were done using our internal company APP, and notes started for an outside meeting early Monday.
So how does ham radio fit in? I again ran background FT8 operations while at my office. Even though FT8 isn’t very exciting, I wasn’t unhappy getting a few QSOs while watching the interleaving dance of an FT8 session.
The stability of a disciplined process doing FT8 QSOs was comforting in the midst of a bit of turmoil.
If I end up in quarantine and we’ll enough to operate a radio, I’d hope to spend much time on SSB contacts but while multitasking FT8 will have to do.
Stay healthy and 73