We are living in interesting times. When we started the planning for Field Day 2020, we planned to have a broader setup, extensive help from Prince William County in terms of equipment and other goodies, and better antennas. Field day is not a contest, but a chance to show our abilities in the field. In order to be successful, we have to work together, often in close proximity to each other, and the public. With the risks of COVID-19, that is not a reasonable request, nor a safe on at this time. There are just too many unknowns, and there is still a lack of proper protective equipment, necessary to make the event successful.
“Due to the unique situation presented this year, this can be an opportunity for you, your club, and/or group to try something new,” ARRL Contest Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE, said. “Field Day isn’t about doing things the same way year after year. Use this year to develop and employ a new approach that is in line with the current circumstances.”
While I agree with Mr. Bourque on a certain level, the current field day rules do not allow much beyond individual station operation. A home location, depending on where we are in the phase lockdown and what other facilities/amenities are required or available, could be the best option. It is reasonable to believe that such things as public restrooms will continue to be off-limits for weeks, if not months to come.
This has been a challenging year. I do not like to cancel training events, especially when people have put time into preparing for them, both mentally as well as practically. The fewer chances we get to practice, the less prepared we will be, but I also am critically aware of the realities of this year. After talking to Greg, KM4CCG, our Field Day Chair, as well as listening to the comments from the cadre, we will not be holding a PWCARES Field Day event. If you are interested in participating in Field Day, I encourage you to do so. Please visit the League’s Field Day page for all the rules and other information.