Until now, you may have noticed the absence in the realm of the NC QSO Party anything related to current events, particularly the Covid-19 virus situation. Please know this is not because of any accident or neglect on the part of the NCQP committee or RARS’ administration of it. Even now, I bring it up reluctantly, but under the circumstances it is necessary.
The most common question has been, “What is NCQP going to do about accommodating/disallowing Multi-op categories in light of the pandemic?” Rest assured, this subject was discussed thoroughly at the annual NCQP meeting last October. Many scenarios were brought up and hashed out. Foremost in our mind was the interest, integrity, and continuity of this great event. The discussion among us continued via our NCQP-Admin reflector as the questions came in.
After this consideration we decided to leave it the way it is and I would make the fact of our deliberation public. Don’t misunderstand that we are not concerned about the safety of the folks. We surely are. What we are directing to those contemplating a Multi-op or expedition in 2021 is to each individually consider their own local situation and make the decision themselves as to implementing appropriate accommodations or canceling outright. In our opinion everyone’s situation is different and a “one-size-fits-all” mandate from a central source is not the appropriate action.
To everyone thinking about a Mult-op or expedition this year, carefully consider your circumstances and discuss it with your group. Canceling it outright is certainly an understandable option, the Single-op category is the ultimate “social distancing” and ham radio is tailor made for it. Deciding to go ahead with it making changes to enhance safety (tightly scheduling op times, minimizing personal contact, limiting number of participants, requiring neg test, masks, etc) is an option. Another would be to do an expedition outside Winter Field Day style. We kept all of these possibilities open and trust that each group leader will make the right decision based on their own circumstances.
I’ll let everyone know that I am going to host one other ham to help me man a Spelling Bee station here at my house in Harnett county. I’ll be doing CW in my living room using my K2 expedition radio and partner will be in the shack with my TS-890S doing SSB. Both of us will be having a screening test done in the week prior.
As always, thank you for your continued support of NC QSO Party. I am looking forward to working everyone February 28, it will be here before we know it!
Marty / W4MY