The Descent

We’re sorta quarantined in place here. My employer ordered me to work from home for the next 6-12 weeks. My wife is still working in public (retail), but her normal schedule is just two days a week and even that might be halted abruptly. The only public places we’ve been lately has been the gas station and the grocery store. Lots of hand washing and maintaining contact with relatives to make certain everyone is okay and have what they need. I suspect that unless there is martial law, people will get bored of this arrangement sooner, rather than later. Gasoline is under two dollars a gallon and the grocery store trips have been interesting…

The American hive mind seems focused on one thing, toilet paper. That commodity is not to be found anywhere in these parts. It’s futile to try and get it via Amazon as they are sold out and backorders online now extends through May. It’s also getting tough to find meat and frozen foods in the local stores. The hoarding reflects the fear that’s obvious. Everyone I talk with says this will all be over in a couple of weeks, but they say that while pushing shopping carts filled with enough supplies for six months.

Jobs and income are being put on hold, the markets are tanking, the recession has started, and the government has made little progress in stemming the flow of bad news, even with all the spigots wide open. The day after dumping trillions into the system the Dow was down another 3,000 points which has to give serious pause to people who take interest in such things while the rest of us have switched into survival mode, doing whatever we’re told and hoping for a better outcome.

This is an amazing time to be alive and we’re literally traveling through a slice of human history that our great-grandchildren will read about in their history books. I’m certain of that because the most interesting parts of mankind’s story are those parts filled with the greatest challenges, suffering, risk, and how it was overcome. If you doubt for even a minute about the historic nature of these times then consider this, not even two World Wars could shutdown all the bars.


As expected, Hamvention was cancelled. First time in 68 years and with it, a lot of the ancillary programs and meetings have been nixed too. DX Dinner, Contesting University, FDIM, Collins Collectors Association the list goes on and on. Now comes the business of refunds. For tickets, vendors and flea market booth holders there are options being offered by the Hamvention folks:

  1. Obtain a refund
  2. Obtain a 2021 ticket instead. (to be mailed around January 1, 2021)
  3. Donate to Hamvention (no refund)

This will be a big hit on the Greene County economy, but no more than anywhere else. We’re going to just have to rub some dirt on it, walk it off, and wait for the next shot at the biggest ham radio show on earth.

More Cancellations

Most other hamfests and radio conventions that had been slated for the next 3-4 months have already been cancelled. That includes all of them as well as most radio club meetings in my area. Hell, you can’t even visit and tour W1AW and HQ right now so we’re just going to have to cool our jets and wait this out.

Stay home, stay safe, wash your hands.

3 replies on “The Descent”

Wonder what changes (positive and negative) you are thinking might hang with us long term, once we’re past the immediate issue?

While the present situation forces me more towards the pragmatic side of my “pragmatic optimism” it hasn’t killed my underlying optimism that in the end things will work out.




I wonder if people will continue to isolate themselves once this has subsided? I’ve genuinely lost all interest in eating out, traveling, attending conferences, etc. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe not. I think things will workout too, I don’t think we have any other choice but to fix what we can fix.

73, Jeff

I’ve felt that even before the virus event, though now living through the event I’ve much more clarity on what really matters.

Definitely changing the underlying psyche.



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